By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA â€” AFTER sev eral attempts to meet with the aggrieved Governors of the South-South geo-political zone, President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua yesterday held a crucial meeting which lasted for about four hours with them behind closed doors.
The President, at the meeting, it was learnt, disownedÂ the movement of the PTI to Kaduna, affirming that the Petroleum Varsity will not only remain in Effurun, Warri, but will be upgraded to a varsity of world standard.
At yesterdayâ€™s meeting were Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State; Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.
Also in attendance were members of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty and Disarmament for Youths in the Niger-Delta.
Chairman of the S-South Governorsâ€™ Forum, Liyel Imoke, who addressed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting disclosed that they were assured that the issue of the movement of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) from Effurun, Delta State to Kaduna was never a
decision, and as a result can never be implemented by any government agency.
â€œAs you are all aware, we have just concluded a meeting with Mr. President on the Implementation of the amnesty which will be effective two days hence.
It was for this reason that this meeting was held. On that premise, after extensive deliberation, we confirmed our unconditional support for the Amnesty Programme and our commitment to ensure that Amnesty is implemented in a manner and form in which Mr. President has envisaged it.
We also, as Governors use this opportunity to call our citizens in the region in the affected areas where Amnesty is to be implemented to embrace this initiative and commitment to ensuring that it will be successful in the interest of the regionâ€.
He added that â€œWe also got Mr. Presidentâ€™s commitment on a number of issues. We have to meet with Mr. President as Governors at a later date where all issues will be discussed. And like I said, we gave our commitment that the amnesty succeedsâ€. He did not give details of the numbers of commitment they achieved from the president.
According to him, â€œMr. President also clarified the movement of the PTI which was not the official policy of the government and which was not a decision of the FEC. And such, clearly the PTIâ€™s upgrade to a university as propounded by the previous government remains on courseâ€.
When asked if they were able to secure a major deal on the lingering issues of post amnesty plans from the Mr. President, he said â€œwe admitted that there must be a more communications between us (Federal and the State Governments) and to that effect we are meeting tomorrow with the committee responsible for the implementation of the amnesty to discussed the entire programme. So that meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morningâ€.
Investigations by Vanguard reveals that another round of meeting was being convened last night by the Governors to review the decisions reached with Mr. President, with a view to harmonising their views towards this morningâ€™s meeting with the amnesty panel members.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Governors are billed to hold another meeting with the President before weekend with a view to smoothening the grey areas in the controversial bill.