Governors want better deal for South South, South East

Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa (left); Chairman, South-South and South-East Governors Forum/Akwa Ibom chief executive, Udom Emmanuel; his Rivers and Bayelsa counterparts, Nyesom Wike and Seriake Dickson; during their meeting in Owerri, Imo State.

• Kalu canvasses Igbo presidency in 2023

Eight governors and a deputy governor from the South-South and South -East geo-political zones rose from their meeting at Government House, Owerri yesterday, calling on Federal Government to give a better voice to the two regions and prioritise infrastructural development therein.

Chaired by the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, the gathering was graced by Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Bayelsa’s Seriake Dickson; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Ben Ayade (Cross River); Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Anambra State Deputy Governor Nkem Okeke, who represented his boss, Willie Obiano.

The forum also decried what it described as “unjustified lack of significant federal presence in the South-East and South-South regions.”

It equally discussed extensively on the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution, resolving to take a position in the interest of the people of the two zones.

The meeting commended the role played by some patriots in instituting broad-based negotiations between the North and the South-East to discountenance the October 1 quit notice issued to the Igbo resident in that region by some youths.

They expressed hope that this would be the last time any person or group of persons would engage in such an action that portrays a part of the country as a no-go area.

The governors reviewed burning political issues and other undercurrents in the two zones, commending the security situation in the federation, championed by the security agencies. They urged more encouragement for the increased oil production in the zones.

The state chief executives held: ‘’The Forum expresses the hope that these efforts by the governors and other stakeholders to maintain peace and stability in the two regions will translate to the two regions reaping increased dividends in the form of greater attention to their urgent infrastructural and other needs.

“It commends the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for organising security summits in the different geopolitical zones of the country and hoped that the outcome of the meetings s will lead to better policing of the country in the interest of the citizenry.

‘’We re-echo our faith in one indivisible and indissoluble Nigeria. “Lastly, the forum will re-convene in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

Meanwhile, former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has enjoined the South East zone to wait till 2023 before taking a shot at the nation’s presidency.

In his view, the north shall have served out its two terms. He also warned the ethnic group against endangering the lives of the over 11 million Igbo in the region through calls for secession.



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