From Chidi Nnadi, Owerri
FORMER Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has blamed the country’s instability and emergence of centrifugal forces on the overbearing dependence on the Federal Government and the fierce struggle by the diverse groups to capture power at the centre in order to control the national resources.
Chief Anyaoku made this observation on Friday night at the Joint Reception for National Assembly Principal Officers and Federal Executive Council Members from South-East and South-South held at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State and organized by the South-East, South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN).
The former secretary general, therefore, said: “If with the help of SESSPN the South-East and South-South zones succeed through pursuing cooperation in planning and development to achieve less dependence on the Federal Government, they will no doubt set an example that will motivate the rest of the four geo-political zones to follow suit.
“I believe that our country cannot wait much longer to reclaim the halcyon days of the First Republic when it witnessed faster national development through a substantial viability and self-sustaining economic activities in the existing four regions at the time.”
He, therefore, commended SESSPN for bringing together the principal officers at the federal level in the two zones to key into the plan of the organisation.
“These individuals have very critical roles to play in supporting the noble objective of SESSPN in seeking to promote good development in the South-East and South-South zones,” he said.
He noted that the success of any idea or project lies substantially in the accommodating nature or democratic inclusiveness of the parties involved in its execution.
“I am sure that the inclusiveness that the members of SESSPN are pursuing with the involvement of these principal officers at the federal level will also be extended to the state assemblies and state executives as well as the people at the grassroots in the two zones,” he said, adding that this would enable them to secure the support of the people.
In his welcome speech, the President of SESSPN, Mr Emeka Ugwu-Oju blamed the low turnout to the event on the initial venue, the Banquet Hall, State House, Owerri, which he believed the invited politicians who were not of the All Progressives Congress (APC) misinterpreted.
He, however, said the event was aimed at bringing politicians at the federal level in the two zones to “meet and greet” in the belief that it would promote ideas that would facilitate the development of the regions.
“You will recall that in the past few years, SESSPN has been facilitating the development of a strategic architecture for the long term development of the regions named DASESS 2035,” he said.
According to Ugwu-Oju, the architecture was defined by the four pillars of manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and energy with ICT, values, housing, healthcare, education, security and power as enablers.
Most of the principal officers invited did not honour the invitation, leaving Governor Rochas Okorocha’s commissioners and aides and their counterparts from Abia State forming the majority of the attendance besides Senator Chris Anyanwu and the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Igariwey.