South-South Govs Worry Over National Security

BY AUSTINE ETAGHENE

AKWA-IBOM

GOVERNORS of the South-South geo-political zone have called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to restore law and order throughout the federation.

The governors bared their minds in a communiqué issued at the end of an enlarged meeting at Uyo the Akwa-Ibom State capital on Sunday and attended by  National Assembly members and Speakers of the Houses of Assembly from the zone.

In the communiqué, read by the Chairman of the South-South Governor’s Forum, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, the governors noted the efforts of the Federal Government to arrest the spate of violence in parts of the country and commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to contain the violence.

They, however, appealed to those who are aggrieved to utilize available constitutional process to seek redress rather than embark on the destruction of innocent lives and property. The forum expressed sympathy and condolence to Nigerians who lost members of their families.

On the issue of revenue allocation, the governors described as “misplaced and unfortunate” attempts to link increasing in security in parts of the North to the revenue sharing formula.

While endorsing  an earlier communiqué they issued at their Calabar meeting of March 13, 2012 as well as the communiqué issued by Speakers of South South States at their meeting of March 29, 2012, the governors insisted that the issue to be addressed is the introduction of fiscal federalism.

Even as they urged the nation and the states to focus on agriculture, the South South governors held that the introduction of fiscal federalism and resource control will encourage each state of the federalism to control its resources and develop within its capability.

The meeting welcomed recent efforts by the federal government to reactivate the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) whose delayed passage, it said, impacted negatively on the BRACED states and al;so agreed that political leaders of the South-South meet regularly to harmonies positions on issues.

Earlier aet a gala  nite that preceded the meeting, the host Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio called for sustained support for President Jonathan, whom he said, was focusing on national transformation.

His words “Mr. President is focusing on transformation we should support him as the whole world is watching to see how he is transforming Nigeria.”

Present at the meeting were Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Dickson Sekiebe of Bayelsa and the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Engr. Telle Ikpokpo, who represented his boss, Rotimi Ameachi.

Sunday’s South Souths Governor’s meeting in Uyo is coming less than two weeks to the second South South Economic Summit to be hosted by Delta State in Asaba, the capital city.