By Chinenye Festus:-
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State who is the Chairman of South-South Governors’s Forum on Tuesday during the regional stakeholders meeting with a presidential delegation stated the current situation report of the country where there is no peace and things are not working the way they should truly call for restructuring.
Okowa said in line with the principle of true federalism to guarantee peace, security, and stability of the nation. He stated that the people of the South-South were committed to the restructuring of the country in a way that would guarantee true federalism and devolution of powers to the states to create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.
The presidential delegation was led by Chief of Staff to President, Ibrahim Gambari who met with other leaders and governors at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.
“We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country; as such, it is imperative to stress that with a few efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the Federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse.
“This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country,” Okowa said.
“What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy, and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-South region of the country especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters.
“As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country”.
Present at the meeting were Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Governor Ben Ayade (Cross River), Governor Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Governor Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Ministers present included Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta), Timipre Sylva (State for Petroleum), Goddy Agba (State for Power), Festus Keyamo (State for Niger Delta), Osagie Ehanire (Health), and Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture).
While the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was absent, the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha, among others were present.
Gambari on his part applauded the governors for their relentless effort in addressing the crisis in the region. He assured them that he will take their concerns to the president and he will act quickly to address the problems.
The Deputy President of the Senate Ovie Omo- Agege who was also present at the meeting encouraged the leaders of the region to cue into the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly as it touches most of the constitutional issues raised.
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