South East Governors Converge on Enugu, Discusses Salient Issues Facing the Region

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Kosisochukwu Anokwuru

Governors of the five southeastern states of the country recently converged at the Enugu State Government House to deepen talk about the affairs of the zone and ways to improve it.

The Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi made the disclosure in a communique issued by the governors’ forum at the end of its meeting in Enugu on Sunday.

Top on the agenda of the meeting was a review of the composition for the establishment of community policing in the zone, allegedly reneged by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu.

The chairman bemoaned that the IG did not act in accordance with the initial agreement reached with him during his visit to the Zone.

“On Community Policing, 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 Southeast Governors and their leaders request the IGP to revert to our initial agreement reached on Community Policing at Enugu.

“The forum agrees that all South East State House of Assembly should commence the process of enacting the state security laws in line with the South East Joint Security Programme,” he said.

On COVID-19, the governors admonished Ndigbo across the nation to stay safe and obey all directives to curtail and control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In his own words, “the forum directed all Igbos living outside Igbo land to obey all existing COVID-19 orders, namely: Presidential directive on inter-state movement, WHO, NCDC hygiene protocols, presidential Task Force, and directives of Southeast Governors and directives of all Governors where they live.”

The governor added that the forum agreed to further engage the NCDC to scale up testing of Coronavirus in the South East States.

On the economy, Umahi said the forum agreed to set up committees at the various states to work with the Federal Government, World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on rejiging the economy in the zone, especially in areas of Agriculture, Small and Medium Enterprises, and solid minerals.

The Chairman said it agreed also to hold a virtual meeting with the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the issue of linking South East State capitals with the pipeline.

He stressed further that the pipeline programme would be done along with the Federal Government pipeline programme running from Imo to Lagos State.

Umahi revealed that the forum agreed that Ohaneze should submit a working document in their next meeting on setting up of South East Stabilization Fund.

He lauded the President, Minister of Aviation, the Governor of Enugu State, other governors of the southeast and the Committee headed by Mr. Chris Okoye on the extent of work at Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

“We assure our people that with the progress of work at the site, we are hopeful that the Airport will reopen soonest subject to COVID-19 Federal Government Programme, ”the Chairman said.

Similarly, the forum commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Works and the Governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano on the extent of work at the second Niger Bridge by Julius Berger.

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