South-South, South-East Governors Pass Vote Of Confidence On Jonathan
ABUJA, May 12, (THEWILL) – Governors of the South- South and South-East regions have pledged support and passed a vote of confidence on President Goodluck Jonathan.
The governors made the declaration at a meeting, which cut across party lines in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The meeting was meant to review the state of the nation and discussed what they described as topical issues confronting the nation’s nascent democracy.
The meeting which held at the new Government House lasted for about five hours and had in attendance Martin Elechi of Ebonyi; Seriake Dickson of Baylesa; Theodore Orji, Abia; Liyel Imoke, Cross Rivers; Mr. Peter Obi, Anambra; Godswill Akpabio, Akwa- Ibom and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta. Others are, Chime Sullivan of Enugu and Mr. Rochas Okorocha, Imo. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was absent while Rivers State governor sent in his deputy, Tele Ikuru. Governor Oshiomhole was conspicuously absent and did not send his deputy.
Governor Imoke read the first part of the two-page communiqué while Governor Peter Obi read that last paragraphs of the resolution .
The governors at a crowded press conference announced their total support for the administration of President GoodLuck Jonathan.
They declared: “ The South-South and South –East governors commend His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan , GCFR, President and Commander in Chief of the Arm Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his focused leadership, and bold results yielding transformation agenda, which deserves unwavering support of all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria alike for the laudable achievements of the administration in strengthening our democracy , stabilising the polity , growing the economy and improving the quality of lives of all citizens continue to unfold .”
The governors commended President Jonathan for the “extensive ongoing rehabilitation and modernisation of the airports across the country , particularly those in our region”, but called on the Federal to establish cargo airports including additional sea ports in the region, including Ibaka, and escravos
They pleaded with the Federal government to carry out the dredging of Calabar Ports, and agreed to work together in order to revive the agro-allied industries , particularly oil palm and rubber plantations, to exploit the comparative advantage in agriculture in the region.
The governors agreed on economic and political integration of the old Eastern and Midwest regions, now the south- South and the South –East , and pledged to strengthen cooperation across the board with particular focus on development of infrastructure linking the regions , particularly Federal roads.
The governors also called on the Federal government to rehabilitate all railway lines linking the states and the regions , as well as embark on the construction of rail link between all states .
The governors also pledged to work together to ensure the development of all the ports in the region, including the Abia dry port and call on the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) to facilitate achievements of these objectives.
The governors also called on the Federal Government to facilitate the full implementation of the free trade zone among the states of the region.
They pleaded with all Nigerians to use dialogue to resolve issues affecting the country, they agreed to work together and ensure regional cooperation on security, pipeline vandalisation as well as other nefarious activities in the region to make it conducive environment for attracting investors.
They urged the Federal Government to front the acts of terror ravaging some part of the country while sympathising with families affected in the acts terror in the country and called on citizens to remain law abiding while government try to contain with the situation.
The meeting of the South-South and South-East governors, according to a top government official, was informed by the urgent need to address issues that border on economy, security and more importantly, regional integration in the region.
The source, who is also a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, spoke with journalists behind closed doors and on the condition of anonymity.
He had hinted before the meeting that the main focus of the meeting was to address economic growth of the region, but that such discussions will not be fruitful without addressing security and political issues.
"I wouldn't say it is not a political meeting. We the governors are looking at the meeting for economic reasons and we cannot be talking of economy without security. The meeting is to look at economic integration and security challenge and there is also the issue of the constitution of amendment to be discussed. Therefore, the first factor is economical while the second is political," the source explained.
According to him, violent crimes, especially kidnapping is a disturbing security threat that affects practically all the states in the region. "So it is important for us to come together because kidnapping has no boundary," he said.
He also hinted that with the growing quest among members of the opposition party to unite in the bid to wrest power from the ruling PDP, at the presidential level, governors from the region must work together in the interest of the party.
"Now that the opposition is coming together and as a region we are looking at discussing to find solution to some of the challenges affecting our party. If the president is affected, then the party will also be affected in the regions," he said.
While declaring that he has a resolute stand on the heated debate of the National Assembly on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), he noted further that it will also be part of the issues to be addressed, saying "I have never hidden my stand on the PIB."