STATE OF THE NATION: Southern governors in emergency meeting


South-West Governors on Sunday met in Lagos to strategise on improved security in the region following to the recent EndSARS protest mayhem. In his opening remark, Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, said that the region had gone through a lot in recent time. Akeredolu, who is also the Governor of Ondo State, said that when the EndSARS protest started in the South-West and other parts of the country, the police were guiding the protesters. He said that what started as a peaceful demonstration by the youths eventually turned to a different thing. “In recent past, our experience has been most worrisome, everybody is worried, everybody is concerned, we have to sustain the peace we have started noticing. “We are worried. What we are seeing in the last days shows that something needs to be done,´´ Akeredolu said. He said that the meeting was to improve on the relationship in the South-West region and find solutions to youth unrest. “What we have witnessed in the South-West is a great attack on our heritage. We must have collaboration across the board. We need the cooperation of the Federal Government so that this does not repeat itself,´´ the Ondo governor said. He urged the governors to be up and doing in their duties, adding that the welfare of the people was paramount. Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the South-West region had serious issues of security confronting the people. Sanwo-Olu said that over 500 vehicles, both public and private were destroyed, hospitals, monarch palace, among others, were not spared. In his address, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said the meeting was for those in government to retrace their steps and have a rethink of a better way to engage the youths more to prevent their restiveness. Gambari noted that President Buhari was aware of the level of destruction to private and public infrastructure in Lagos. He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to addressing the many challenges and demands of the youths in due course. Other South-West governors in attendance were Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo). The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, his works and housing counterparts, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, among others. The Traditional rulers in attendance include Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, among others.

— To meet again next week in Delta state to harmonize their positions on the state of the nation

Dayo Johnson Akure

Governors in the Southern part of the country under the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum on Tuesday met to discuss the state of the nation.

The meeting which was held virtually was at the instance of the chairman of the South West governors forum, Rotimi Akeredolu and the chairmen of both South-South and South-East Governors’ Forums Ifeanyi Okowa and David Umahi of Ondo, Delta and Ebonyi respectively.

Vanguard was informed that fifteen of the 17 Governors from the Southern part attended the meeting.

They include; Ekiti State Governor who doubles as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Nyesom Wike(Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa(Delta), David Umahi(Ebonyi), Godwin Obaseki,(Edo), and Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo(deputy governor of Enugu representing the governor).

Others are Douye Diri(Bayelsa), Emmanuel Udom(Akwa Ibom), Okezie Victor Ikpeazu(Abia), Hope Uzodimma(Imo), Dapo Abiodun(Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Seyi Makinde(Oyo) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu(Lagos).

The Governors who called for commitment and unity in addressing issues that affect the country, particularly Southern Nigeria, stressed the need to put the country first in the face of the trying times.

The full details of the outcome of the meeting were still sketchy as of press time.

Vanguard was however informed that part of the governor’s resolution was to meet in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, next week to harmonize positions aimed at dousing the tension in the country.

But a source close to one of the governors said although the meeting was long overdue, the move by the three governors was commendable.

The source said “The three governors, especially the chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum have provided good leadership and direction to the extent that a proper path to confidence-building has been laid.

“It is coming a bit late but it has largely shown that there are still leaders who think of the nation’s unity first before any other.

“The kernel of the meeting was that Nigeria is too important to let into a conflagration. It’s a good move, no doubt”, he said

Vanguard News Nigeria

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