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South East govs move for improved security, development

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S'East govs, Ohanaeze, Abaribe, Kalu condemn killing of soldiers in Abia

By Ori Martins

It was David Easton, one of the earliest exponents of politics, who defined politics as the authoritative allocation of values in the society. His contemporary, Peter Merki, on his part, conceived politics as the quest for power, order and justice, just as Austin Ranny argues that politics is all about solving problems and an act of conflict resolution in the society.

Taken together, the political thinkers are of the view that politics is meant for crisis resolution, as well as community growth and development. And this is actually the stand of the South East governors when they converged in Owerri, the Imo State capital a fortnight ago. The aim of the summit was to find ways for an improved economy and security in the region.

With the theme, South East Beyond 2023, Time for a Reset, the submit was facilitated by the South East Governors Forum and supported technically by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Of all the papers presented, that of the Anambra governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, stood out as it talked about ideas and ways that could be fashioned out in order to build and sustain the region’s economy and security in the next century.

In particular, Soludo pointed out that his administration was already putting in place a roadmap of his administration termed “Anambra Vision 2070” which he explained was tailored to spark off massive infrastructural development, agricultural revolution, economic growth as well as security, social, education, health and cultural resurgence within the next 50 years.

Soludo maintained that the entire South East zone should copy the Anambra template and improve on it by making it up to 100 years. For this lofty goal to see the light of the day, the erstwhile Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, advised that Ndigbo must involve as well as work in partnership with Nigeria as a country, Africa as a continent and the world at large.

In his submission, the Imo State governor and chairman of the South East Governors Forum and who also doubles as the chief host of the summit, Senator Hope Uzodimma, pointed out that no meaningful result could be achieved in any sector in the zone if there was no abiding love, unity and togetherness. He specifically called on a synergy between the Igbo leaders and the youths, insisting that the wisdom of the aged and the strength of the youths were vital ingredients needed for peace, security and orderliness in the South East geo political zone.

Former defunct Diamond Bank Managing Director, and now Abia State governor, Dr Alex Otti, opined that government played great roles in matters of economic development and security stability of states, regions and countries allover the globe. He therefore challenged his fellow South East governors to always take issue of security and economy very seriously by injecting meaningful funds and creating job opportunities in those two areas.

To buttress his point, Otti gave the example of the United States of America that invested N$30b annual grants into agriculture, energy, transportation just to ensure food security and economic growth. This, he said was aside the annual grants the US government usually set aside for security and education particularly science and technology. He therefore made it clear that for South East economy and security to blossom, the state governments must take charge by adequately boosting those two critical and sensitive sectors.

In calling for what appeared to be a joint security action, the Enugu State governor, Dr Peter Mbah urged his mates to join hands for what he called a “united, common strategy and operational plan” to tackle the security challenges in the Igbo country. For this plan to be workable and effective, Mbah moved for the establishment of a “Command and Control Centre” which would be central and accessible to all the South East states. This he said, would go a long way in drastically reducing the the spate of insecurity which has caused severe damage in the area in the past four years.

The Ebonyi State governor Hon Francis Nwifuru who was represented by his deputy, Patricia Obila, commended the summit as it came at the right time when South East was besieged by all manner of atrocities in the guise of insecurity.

Speaking through his woman deputy, Nwifuru said the South East governors were taking the right steps in the right direction as they had started speaking in one voice, which was very rare in the past.

It was a colourful event as the chairman of the summit, former senate president, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim., Ohanaeze Ndigbo president general, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu., Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Alfred Achebe, many serving and former members of the national assembly attended the occasion.

However, many respondents knocked the security and economic summit as they argued that the inability of the South East governors to categorically call for the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, meant that the entire exercise was a mere jamboree.

Others also stated that the failure of the governors to task the Federal Government of Nigeria on the neglected South East Development Commission was an indication that the summit was not well organized.

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Yet, there are those who said the ideas of the South East governors was a welcomed development given the present realities in the Igbo nation.

“The fact is, the governors had come together for the purposes of putting heads together to find lasting solutions on the poor state of insecurity in the the South East as well as improving on the economy. Let us give them support and also watch how it goes. If their plan goes through, we commend them. If it fails, we condemn them”, Chief Bona Nwoke Dike, the SA to Governor Hope Uzodimma on K. O. Mbadiwe University and an APC big wig from Ngor Okpala, stated.

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