From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Governors under the aegis of the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum, yesterday, met over the the state of the nation.
The meeting held virtually at the instance of Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ifeanyi Okowa and David Umahi of Ondo, Delta and Ebonyi respectively was to proffer an end to the problem of insecurity in the nation.
Umahi is chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, Okowa, chairman, South South Governors’ Forum while Umahi is chairman, South East Governors’ Forum.
Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, in a statement said 15 of the 17 governors attended the meeting.
They included Ekiti Governor who doubles as chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo (deputy governor of Enugu State).
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.
Full details of the outcome of the meeting were still sketchy as at press time.
However, as part of their resolution, the governors agreed to meet in Asaba, Delta State, next week to harmonise 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 three governors, especially the chairman of the South West 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 conflagration. It’s a good move, no doubt,” he said.
The governors met as the Ondo State security network codenamed Operation Amotekun evicted 137 illegal occupiers of Government Forest Reserves at Iron, Ose Local Government Area.
The affected persons, mostly of Fulani extraction, claimed they had access to the land through the collaboration of some chiefs in the area.
The illegal occupants of the Ondo forest reserves were apprehended at Elegbeka forest along Ifon-Owo road on their arrival from unknown destinations.
Governor Akeredolu had few weeks ago ordered the eviction of illegal occupants of the state government forest reserves who refused to register with government.
The governor’s action followed the gruesome murder of the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adegoke Adeusi who was shot dead on the Owo-Ifon route few months ago.