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South-South, South East Governors Regroup, To Meet In October

South-South, South East Governors Regroup, To Meet In October

Governors from the south-south and south-east geo-political zones of the country are regrouping with the primary aim of mounting pressure on the federal government to address teething development issues affecting the two zones.

On Sunday, the governors met in Port Harcourt where they agreed to deliberate on critical economic and political issues common to the interests of the states in the nation's affairs.

The meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, had in attendance seven governors and four deputy governors. Other governors present at the meeting were Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.

Deputy Governors who represented their governors were Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, Acting Governor of Bayelsa, Dr. Nkem Okeke, of Anambra, Philip Shaibu of Edo State and Prof. Ivara Esu of Cross River State.

The governors noted “the deplorable state of federal roads in the two regions. That none of the airports and seaports located in our regions is reasonably functional, and that neither of the two regions are linked by any rail services.

*That the Federal presence in the regions is very minimal and only noticeable in the presence of policemen.

*The emerging trend where approvals for investments in the oil and gas industry are granted for siting in other parts of Nigeria with laying of pipelines in deep waters rather than siting the projects in the areas that produce the resources.

They resolved:

*To pursue inter-regional cooperation and integration for the common good of the regions' people.

*To work together politically, align and re-align as a people that share common heritage, culture and affinity.

*To articulate and advocate for issues affecting the wellbeing of the regions. The issues may not necessarily materialize immediately, but for the benefits of future generations.

*To continue to subscribe our faith to the destiny and greatness of Nigeria and call upon Nigerians to put their hands on the plough and rise to claim our rightful place in the Comity of Nations.

*To condemn hate speech in national discourse whether in individual communication, or utterances of political actors or parties.

*To urge security agencies to set up joint border patrols and develop more proactive strategies in combating crime and criminality.

*To urge the Federal Government to come up with a clear policy on concession of Federal roads and to fast-track the process in order to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the regions.

*To urge the Federal Government to encourage investors in the oil and gas industry to operate from within the regions and also make the investments in the sector in the region. The governors decided to reconvene in Owerri, Imo State on Sunday, the 8th of October, 2017.

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