2019, others in focus at South-south, South-east governors’ meeting
There are insinuations that the meeting of the south-east, south-south governors held yesterday in Enugu may not have featured the economic integration of the two zones alone but their political future as the nation looks up to the next dispensation.
The Guardian gathered that the meeting, which was the second in less than two months was brokered following the conviction of the governors that the present political arrangement of the country has been skewed against the two zones.
While the south-east has vigorously complained about the marginalization of her people in certain key appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari, the south-south also feels that she has not received the best of attention from successive governments despite her economic contributions to the country.
The assumption is that the way the country has been structured, there is a need for the two zones to pull resources and strength if they must play a leading role in the next dispensation.
According to a source, “unless they begin now to put their house in order, getting a fair deal for their people as the next political dispensation kick-starts in 2019 might elude them in view of the present political structure that is likely to continue after the general elections”
The source added that the only option available to the governors was to continue to operate as a “united entity, devoid of party affiliation and interest, so that at each point in time, they will present their needs as one individual entity.”
It added that though the next general election was still miles away, the two zones meeting might see them present a common front that would them give mass votes to a candidate of choice as well as negotiate political power and recognition in future.
In this regard, they are said to be weighing options of supporting one of their own in 2019 or any other candidate that might give the interests of the zones a priority.
The source added that part of the discussion of the governors is to ensure that they continue to support each other to enable them serve out their two tenures of eight years.
Except Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha and Governor Willie Obiano, seeking re-election in November, this year, the other governors involved in the meeting are still serving their first tenure in office.
Besides, the meeting shared “thoughts and ideas on how best to bring the powers and resources of the offices of the governors, public and private positions, collectively and severally, to bear on the escalating challenges of security, development, welfare of both workers and general populace, youth restiveness, the unity of the country, unemployment, stagnate economy among others.”
A source disclosed that the governors of the two regions have rigorously been examining “not just the challenges but the incredible opportunities at our disposal in these great regions, which, if collectively articulated and harnessed, would place us on a pedestal where our current anxieties about future will be displaced by the prosperity and peace that we surely can create and establish for our children and their children for multiple millennia.”
The source added that the current socio-political trauma in the country, particularly the separatist agitations of some youths of the two regions was something that had occupied the minds of the governors, stressing that while they recognized that each zone was faced with one challenge or the other, they are worried about the crude dimensions the development had taken.