The South East and South-South governors said on Sunday that they would continue to demand for the devolution of powers and resources to the states and also the institutionalisation of state police.
According to the PUNCH, the governors, who met in Port Harcourt on the platform of the South-South, South-East Governors’ Forum, said that the demand was necessary now that there was a national consensus on the issues.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, added that two regions would continue to be worse off without the will to exploit the political economic complementarities for political and economic and social fortunes.
“As we go into the business of this meeting, let us be confident in the rightness of our course and clear in our considerations that we have been and would continue to be worse off without the will to exploit our political and economic complementarities to drive our ways into political, economic and social prosperity.
“Above all, we must continue to demand for the devolution of powers and resources to the states as well as the institutionalisation of state police, now that there is national consensus on these issues.
“From geo-strategic economic perspective therefore, there is an urgent need to establish and link our cities with railways and super highways; to provide viable and affordable flight services between our cities, and to ensure that cargoes are brought into the country and the regions through our seaports, jetties and ferry services as a veritable means of stimulating economic growth and social progress across our two regions.
“Also, we are all aware that economic growth and social progress are possible only in a peaceful and secure environment. And much as we try to tackle this menace in our respective states by providing the necessary logistic support to the security agencies, perceptions of insecurity are on the rise, doing significant damage to our investment climate thereby preventing reasonable inflow of direct foreign and local investment into the regions,” Wike, who is the host of the meeting, said.
In his remark, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, who is also Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, urged the governors of the two regions to form a common front for socio-economic development, describing the meeting as a new beginning for the two geopolitical zones for the good of her people.
Emmanuel expressed delight that the governors had set aside impediments to chart a new direction, even as he charged the two regions to work together for prosperity.
He said, “Federal presence in the region is minimal and only seen in the presence of policemen.”
The forum’s chairman called for the development of an industrial framework that would enhance development and maintained that the regions were better of united than divided.
He pleaded with Nigerians to continue to strive for the unity of the country.
Some of those who attended the meeting are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, his counterpart from Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State
Others in attendance are Acting Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah; Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke; Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Edo State Deputy Governor; Philip Shaibu and Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ivara Esu.