By Tony Osauzo
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Governors of the South-South zone have raised an alarm that some individuals and groups are exploiting the situation of ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua for the promotion of personal, ethnic and regional interests.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Benin which lasted from 9pm Friday to 2.39am Saturday, the governors said the National Unity of the country outweighs any personal, ethnic or regional interests.

They condemned such actions and urge the Nigerian elite to avoid inflammatory and divisive statements that potentially endanger the stability of the nation '.

They restated their loyalty to President Yar'Adua and commended the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan for showing leadership at this most difficult and challenging time in Nigeria. The governors urged him to remain steadfast and focused in steering the affairs of state '.

While welcoming the President back to the country, the South-South governors urged all citizens to join in prayers for his speedy recovery and return to office. The governors who deliberated on the management of the post-Amnesty programme, expressed concern about the pace of its implementation.

'It is vital that funds be released and properly managed for the implementation of the post amnesty programme. The slow place of the post amnesty programme has led to frustration. 000It is also important that the post amnesty programme be reviewed and an implementation timeline and benchmarks set to ensure that this laudable programme is sustainably managed to a logical and mutually beneficial conclusion', the governors said.

In the communiqué read out to journalists by the chairman of the South-South Governors ' Forum, Senator Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River State, called for a clear post training job creation programme which should be fully articulated and implemented to fully integrate the former militants in the Niger Delta into beneficial endeavours in the country.

Besides, the South-South Governors called for their involvement in the management of the post amnesty programme to ensure optimal implementation of all aspects of the programme in the region.

The Governors, while commending the Amnesty programme, noted that it 'has successfully brought the conflict in the Niger Delta to an end to the benefit of the whole nation, stressing that 'oil industry operations which is the mainstay of the nation's economy has been stabilized by the success so far of that programme '.

The governors have meanwhile, called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which promised 10 per cent equity in incorporated Joint Ventures to oil producing communities. According to them, the passage of the Bill 'would certainly integrate the communities into the national economy '.