Utilise Platform To Support Nigeria’s Unity Okowa Urges SNPA

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Thursday charged the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) to use the platform to promote the unity of the country.

The governor gave the charge while declaring open a 3-Days Meeting of SNPA Elders Management Committee in Asaba.

Okowa, represented by his Special Adviser on Labour and SERVICOM, Comrade Mike Okeme, said that development could only thrive in a peaceful and secured atmosphere.

"You are here to deliberate and proffer solutions to some of the national issues, as you discuss, you should ensure that you represent the county in a positive light. You should also use this platform to keep Nigeria united," he said.

He lauded them for coming together from time to time to deliberate on issues concerning the country and encouraged them to come out with solutions such that would keep the country as one indivisible entity.

In an interview with some of the members, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State said the meeting had become necessary to enable them contribute to the progress of the country.

“We want to contribute to the progress of Nigeria and to encourage the president to pursue the anti-corruption fight vigorously and rigorously without any coloration and selected justice. We call for prayers for Mr President, for God to lead him rightly on the part of economic progress, socio, political and national security.

“This body is non-partisan, so, what we are doing here is for the interest of the country because we are here to examine every aspect of the country's economy”, he said.

On his part, Sen. Roland Owie, Representing Edo South in the Fourth Republic, said that the assembly would be looking at national issues facing the nation, “We are looking at issues facing the nation, security matters, cattle herdsmen, economy, future of democracy, anti-craft law among others, stressing, “Nigeria belongs to all of us, we can't run away from it and the unity of this nation is not negotiable”.

He, however, reject any proposal to set up ranches and grazing land, adding that it was purely a private business for cattle owners.

"So, why would you want ranches for businessmen who are private, let those who are cattle rearers establish their ranches and sell their product to those who wants to buy”.

Owie also decried the poor state of the economy, saying that money has been starched out of circulation in the past one year.

He said that the delay in singing the year's budget was rather embarrassing and not in the best interest of the economy.

Also speaking, Sen. Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, former Deputy Governor, Lagos State said that the meeting sought solutions for the numerous challenges, particularly the massacre by the alleged herdsmen.

She called for urgent action particularly on the evasion by the herdsmen by the government before the situation gets out of hand.

The SNPA Coordinating Secretary, Dr Ifedi Okwenna, said that the organization started in 2012.

According to him, it had its first meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom and later at Enugu, Lagos and today is our second meeting in Asaba, we were here in 2014.

"The elders are here to look at the state of the economy and to make its assessment of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

"We have watched him for almost one year now and there are burning national issues which the people need to look into and put minds together and come up with a position.

"We are here for the unity of Nigeria because we believe that we have to work together to achieve peace".

He said that the meeting will raise a communique touching all the key issues, ranging from the economy, security, social issues among others.

He said that the meeting was chaired by Dr Alex Ekwueme, former Vice President who was represented by Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra.You