South East govs meet, unfold plan for regional integration

The governors of the South-East geopolitical zone have agreed to set aside their differences and work for the economic integration of the region and welfare of the people.

The new Chairman of the forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, said this after a meeting of the forum in Enugu on Sunday.

Umahi said such move was in the interest of the people.

He said the meeting, which was the first of its kind since the 2015 general elections, discussed burning issues as they affected the geopolitical zone, other states and Nigeria.

“One of such was security integration. We have agreed to compare notes, to talk with our commissioners of police and other security agencies to do our security integration.

“This is to have a common ground on the fight against kidnapping, robbery and other vices in our various states.

“We have realised that sometimes when a kidnap happens in Ebonyi State, for instance, victims could be taken to another state of the South-East,” he said.

According to him, such move will be a better and sure way to secure the lives and property of the people.

Umahi said that the governors agreed to put in place a peer review mechanism and proper economic integration in order to support the economic wellbeing of the people in the geopolitical zone.

He said that each of the governors would direct their commissioner in-charge of economic planning to come up with a blueprint for proper economic integration of the zone.

“We will come together, discuss and compare notes with the aid of consultants and come up with blueprint on how we can have proper economic integration of the South-East.

“We have a lot of abundant wealth we can harness to better the lots of our people. It is for the interest of our people that we work together,” he said.

Umahi said that the forum was in support of the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo under the leadership of Chief Nnia Nwodo, and urged the people to accord the group maximum support.

Meanwhile, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has applauded the new-found synergy and solidarity among governors of the South-East.

Nwodo told newsmen at the meeting of the South-East Governors’ Forum in Enugu on Sunday that the resurgence of the solidarity was the needed elixir for regional integration.

He said that the meeting of the governors, which was the first of its kind since the 2015 general elections, was in fulfilment of the promise made by Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo.

Nwodo said that there was apprehension for sometime because the governors had not met in a long while, adding that they were back to business.

“…All five of them are here. Nobody is represented by the deputy. They are in serious deliberation and I am grateful to God that this is happening,” he said.

Nwodo said that the governors from the zone had not been divided as widely speculated but had difficulty in meeting for a long time.

“I am happy that within two months of my coming into office they are back on the saddle, united and in total solidarity addressing the problems affecting us as a geographical region,” Nwodo

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