Umuahia – Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia said on Tuesday said that the Southern Leaders Forum was designed to foster greater unity among the ethnic nationalities in the region.
A statement issued by Orji’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Ajunwa, said the governor made the remark in Umuahia after his return from the two-day forum, which took place in Calabar.
The governor noted that “hitherto, the South was polarised, but this singular meeting we held has brought all the southern leaders together so that we can discuss our differences, strengths and weaknesses.
“At the end, we harmonise and take a firm stand that we all belong to this country and that we have a voice so that when we speak, our voice must be heard.
“The meeting offered an opportunity for all the various nationalities in the South to appreciate that the South can unite.
“And honestly, we are united right now’’, Orji said.
He further explained that the meeting was convoked to harmonise the views of the leaders and stakeholders in the region ahead of the Federal Government’s proposed national conference.
“Basically, we went to the forum as leaders and stakeholders from the South to show our support to President Goodluck Jonathan in the initiative he has taken in terms of the national conference.
“Other zones are speaking, therefore, the South has to come together to make its stand known on the issue,’’ he said.
The governor also noted that the forum examined other critical issues that would likely be discussed at the conference.
“We have to take a stand that would be beneficial to all of us, especially the people of the South,’’ he said.
“The essence of the forum is to bring all of us from the South together so that we can speak with one voice on issues that concern our corporate existence as a nation.’’ (NAN)