Governors of the South East and South South States of the country have decried the deplorable state of federal infrastructure in the two zones of the country, and restated their resolve to work together to advance the interest of the people of the area.
In a communique at the end of the second meeting of the South-East/South-South Governors Forum held at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Sunday, the governors also condemned hate speech and agreed to promote the unity of the country.
The communiqué, signed by the interim chairman of the Forum, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom on behalf of the Governors regretted: “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 Governors also urged the Federal Government to encourage investors in the oil and gas industry to operate from within the regions and also make regional investments in the sector.
The communique stated that the Forum also 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.”
The South-East/South-South Governors also resolved: “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.”
They further resolved to pursue inter-regional cooperation and integration for the common good of the regions’ people.
The Meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, had in attendance 7 Governors and 4 Deputy Governors. Other Governors present at the meeting were Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Deputy Governors who represented their Governors were Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, Acting Governor of Bayelsa, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra, Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor of Edo State and Prof. Ivara Esu, Deputy Governor of Cross River State.
The forum will reconvene in Owerri, Imo State on Sunday, the 8th of October, 2017