Political leaders and stakeholders from the South-South geo-political zone on Tuesday, November 24 held a strategic meeting with the federal government delegation led by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff the President, President Muhammadu Buhari on ways of building and sustaining peace in the region.
The Presidential delegation led by Ambassador Gambari held meeting with leaders of South South region which took place in Port Harcourt, River State capital was attended by leaders from the South South. The meeting is coming against the background of the recent #EndSARS protest which rocked certain cities in the country, especially Lekki, Lagos.
Among those who participated in the meeting were the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, other Security Chiefs, governors of the constituent states of the south-south namely Senator Ifeanyi Okowa(Delta), Chief Nyesome Wike(Rivers), Douye Diri(Bayelsa),Ben Ayade(Cross River),Udom Emmanuel(Akwa Ibom) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo state).
The meeting also had in attendance ministers including Chief Timipre Sylva(Minister of State for Petroleum Resources),Alhaji Lai Mohammed,( Minister of Information and Culture), Ehanire Osagie(Minister of Health), Festus Keyamo(Minister of State for Labour), Godswill Akpabio(Minister of Niger Delta Affairs), Chief Goddy Jedy Agba(Minister of State for Power) and Senator Ita Enang, SSA on Niger Delta affairs to the president , among others.
A communique read by Chairman of the South South Governor’s Forum, Gov. Okowa, canvassed the relocation of the headquarters of oil multinational companies to their operational bases in the South South region as well as the relocation of government-owned oil subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the South-South region, among others.
Their full demands as contained in the communique are as follows:
1. Immediate relocation of headquarters of oil multinational to their operational bases in the South South region.
2. Immediate relocation of government-owned oil subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the South South region.
3. Immediate completion of East-West road under construction.
4. Immediate privatisation of the two refineries in Port Harcourt and the one in Warri for effectiveness.
5. Call for release of all funds due NDDC and that henceforth, all NDDC projects MUST be done in consultation with State Governors.
6. Reactivation of sea ports in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Warri. Then, the Lagos to Calabar railine.
7. True federalism, resource control, fair revenue sharing and State Police, the best ingredients to achieving a better Nigeria.
The leaders further said: “For us in the South-South, the #ENDSARS protest is a metaphor of almost all that is wrong with us, our refusal to properly understand issues, and imbibe and entrench the virtues of justice, fairness and equity.
“The previous system of true federalism was jettisoned and it created a powerful center controlling and distributing all the resources unevenly.
“There was now a strong desire to restructure the country in order to guarantee peace, security, stability and progress of the nation.
“The region demands true federalism and devolution of powers to the states, including creating and managing their own police and security architecture, true fiscal federalism guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing and control of resources by each state.”