By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—GOVERNORS of South-East and South-South states of the country have said this will be the last time any person or group of persons will make any statement or take action that suggests that any part of the country is a no-go area to other Nigerians.
This was part of the communiqué issued in Owerri, Imo State, at the end of their meeting, Monday, to discuss and take a position on certain issues common to the interests of the states in the nation’s affairs.
The meeting, which was chaired by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, had in attendance eight governors and a deputy governor.
Other governors at the meeting were Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Ben Ayade of Cross River State.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, represented the governor.
In the communiqué signed by Governor Emmanuel, Chairman of the forum, insisted that what unites the people of the South-East and South-South is much more than political party and other considerations.
According to the communiqué, “the forum is worried by the dearth of infrastructure and unjustified lack of significant federal presence in the South-East and South-South regions and called for more attention to be paid to the infrastructural and other needs of the regions by the Federal Government.
“The forum discussed extensively on the proposed amendment of 1999 constitution and resolved to take a position that will be in the best interest of the people of the two regions. The forum commended the role played by some patriots in instituting broad-based negotiations between the regions of the North and South-East, which led to the setting aside of the so-called ‘quit notice’ issued by some misguided youths in the North to the Igbo resident in that part of the country.
“They also expressed the hope that it will be the last time any person or group of persons will make any statement or take actions that suggest that any part of the country is a no-go area to other Nigerians.
“The forum discussed issues bordering on the prevalent political atmosphere in the country and resolved that the regions will go in the direction that will be beneficial to the political future of the people of the region.
“The forum acknowledged the efforts of the security agencies, which have brought relative peace to the regions and across the country, and have consequently contributed immensely to an increased and sustained oil production with the attendant benefits to the country.
“They also commended the efforts of all stakeholders who have worked to ensure that the regions remain calm and safe. The forum expressed 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 paid to the urgent infrastructural and other needs of the regions.”
“The Forum commended the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for organizing security summits in the different geopolitical zones of the country and hoped that the outcome of the summits will lead to better policing of the country in the interest of the citizenry.
The Forum re-echoed their faith in one indivisible and indissoluble Nigeria.”