By Anayo Okoli & Dennis Agbo
SOUTH-East governors have mandated the Houses of Assembly in the zone to commence enactment of state security laws that will give legal backing to the establishment of regional security in line with its joint security programme for the zone.
The governors, who had a joint meeting with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other political leaders of the zone, expressed disappointment with the Inspector-General of Police for reneging in an earlier agreement they had with the police on the practice and composition of community policing for the zone.
Rising from a meeting in Enugu, yesterday, attended by the five governors in the zone, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, said: “The recent communication from the Inspector General of Police to our governors on community policing composition is not in keeping with the agreement we reached with him during his last visit to the South East.
“In the circumstance, we cannot begin implementation of it until the programme reflects our earlier agreement. The South-East governors and their leaders request the IGP to revert to our initial agreement reached on community policing at Enugu.
“The forum agreed that all South East states Houses of Assembly should commence the process of enacting the state security laws in line with the South East joint security programme.”
On the coronavirus pandemic, the governors said they will engage NCDC to scale up testing of coronavirus in the zone and further directed that all Igbo living outside Igbo land do obey all extant Covid-19 orders such as the presidential directive on interstate movement, World Health Organisation and NCDC hygiene protocols, the presidential task force and the directives of the South East governors and directives of all governors where they reside.
Rejigging the economy
The governors’ meeting also agreed to set up committees in the five states to work with the Federal Government, World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, in their various programmes to rejig the economy, especially in areas of agriculture, SME and solid minerals.
“The meeting agreed to hold a virtual meeting with the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum, Corporation, NNPC, on the issue of linking our South East capitals with gas pipeline alongside the pipeline programme of the Federal Government, which is running from Imo to Lagos States. The meeting equally agreed that Ohanaeze should submit a working document in our next meeting on setting up of South-East Stabilisation Fund,” Umahi disclosed.
The governor assured Ndigbo that with the progress of work at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the airport will re-open soonest, subject to Covid-19 programme of the Federal Government.
It also commended the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Works and the Governor of Anambra State for the progress of work at the Second Niger Bridge, adding that the next meeting of the South-East traditional institution shall be hosted by Ebonyi State.