•To forge common regional integration
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
Governors of the South East and South South geo-political zones, yesterday, met in Enugu State, to pool efforts together, in forging regional integration.
Welcoming the governors to the meeting, coming on the heels of the one held last week by South-East governors and stakeholders, host, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said people of the two regions are one people, joined by history, culture, values, geography, brotherhood, friendship and more recently, common challenges.
He said the Enugu parley, held at Nike Lake hotel, would help them understand themselves more, as well as avail them the opportunity to strengthen old ties, develop common regional agenda and ensure development of the regions.
Ugwuanyi also said they will deliberate on the welfare and security of the two regions, bearing in mind that criminals criss-cross the regions in carrying out their nefarious activities.
He told his colleagues that South-East governors and other stakeholders met in Enugu last week, to review the state of the nation, and said they agreed for a restructured Nigeria, where equity and justice would reign.
Also speaking, Governor Dave Umahi, who is chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, said they were meeting for the first time as governors of South South and South East, to brainstorm on various but salient issues affecting the two zones.
“We are meeting as brothers, to talk about regional integration and find lasting solutions to intermittent outbreak of inter-state clashes, arising from boundary disputes among the two regions.
“We will also talk about economic survival of the two regions and look at possible ways of bringing our ingenuity and making use of our huge deposit of both human and natural resources to attain economic viable zones in Nigeria.
“There is also need to discuss security, peace and unity of the two regions and find lasting solution to various salient issues that affect our unity in Nigeria.
“It is a meeting borne out of love and desire to find cohesion among the two regions and I am happy that my brother governors responded to the call, even at the short notice given to them. In other words, we are discussing regional and national interests,” Umahi said.
Governors who attended yesterday’s meeting included Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi ); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Ben Ayade (Cross River); Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom) while deputy governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke represented Governor Willie Obiano.