Ben Ezechime, Enugu
On Sunday October 30, 2022, the South-East Governors Forum met at the Enugu State Government House to deliberate on several issues affecting Nigeria, with special attention to the region.
Interestingly, the governor’s were meeting for the first time after one year in political wilderness characterised by broken and bruised political marriages.
One among the issues discussed was, the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (MNK), incarcerated Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the forum of governors said that it would seek political solution to the release of Kanu.
The forum said it was watching with keen interest the developments with respect to the case of MNK viz-a-viz the Appeal Court rulings.
According to the forum: “Political solution is still possible in this circumstance.”
In the communique released at the end of the meeting, the governors also deliberated on the activities of some undesirable elements currently ravaging the region.
It decried the deplorable security situation in the region, stating that, economic activities have come to a halt in the zone with kidnapping and wanton killings becoming the order of the day.
It called on the Federal Government to urgently beef up security across the region to stem the tide of insecurity.
“We call on the Federal Government to come to our aid in providing security in the zone bearing in mind that elections are around the corner.
“We have also agreed to set up a 24-hour Joint Patrol in all major highways within the South-East, especially during the Christmas season,” the forum said.
The South East Chief Executives, however, disowned the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and its activities saying that the governors do not have any link whatsoever with ESN.
The forum firmly agreed to have established the Ebubeagu Security outfit and the Forest Guards to provide security for the region.
The governors said it was not correct for any person to allude to the fact that South-East Governors created ESN.
The governors commended the various states governments in the region and the Federal Government for efforts being made to alleviate the sufferings of victims of the recent flood menace in parts of the country including the South-East region.
“We hope, however, that long term solution is desirable, in this regard, the South-East Governors have decided to put funds together to further assist the victims of flooding in the five states of the region.
“We also plead with the Federal Government to initiate action for the dredging of rivers in the South-East, to ameliorate the destruction of houses, farmlands and properties occasioned by flooding,” the governor’s said.
It further appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the flood victims in terms of rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons,” the governors appealed.
The meeting was attended by Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Governors of Anambra and Imo states, Prof Charles Soludo and Senator Hope Uzodimma were represented by their deputies, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim and Prof Placid Njoku respectively.