Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Governors from the five states of the South-east zone rose from a closed door meeting in Enugu Monday to assure Ndigbo living in the northern part of the country of their safety in view of the quit notice by the Arewa youths.
The governors also disclosed that they were in constant touch with the Northern Governors’ Forum, the federal government, as well as other stakeholders to ensure that nothing untoward happen to Igbos residing in the North.
Briefing journalists at the end of their meeting which took place at the Government House, Enugu, the chairman of the forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Dave Umahi, said they were working in partnership with Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reach out to the northern leaders.
The governors also adopted the Prof. Bart Nnaji’s Geometric Power Company’s power project in Aba, Abia State, saying the forum would use it as a model to jumpstart the economic integration of the zone.
The governors also announced plans to establish five mega industrial clusters in each state in the zone, saying that an economic team and the forum’s secretariat had been directed to work out modalities for the takeoff of the project.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo briefed us, and of course we have been in touch with the federal government, we have been in constant touch with our colleagues, and Ohanaeze has also been in constant touch with our people in Northern Nigeria and we want to assure all our people that have been in Northern Nigeria that we are in constant touch and dialogue with the federal government and of course in liaison with the Northern Governors’ Forum to make sure that the lives and properties of our people are very secured, and on this development we will continue to monitor to make sure no Igbo man living anywhere in this country is living in fear or is disadvantaged or the live threatened.
“The geometric power company made a presentation to us on Aba power plant and we commend them very highly for bringing the project up to 99 per cent, of course they have completed the project, they are just renovating some of the injection stations of the plant. And we have adopted that power plant as a model for our regional integration. We commend them and we throw our weight behind the success of that project.
“In the same vein, we commend the Shell and her partner in the gas project at Asa, and we as governors of the South East states have proposed to build five mega industrial clusters, one in each state and we have signified interest to benefit from this Asa gas project and so we have set up a committee to liaise with the stakeholders in this respect. And I can assure you that this will assist the South-east very highly.
“We have also taken notice of a number of gas clusters in South-east and we have directed the economic team and the secretariat to get the list of the names and people that are in charge of the gas blocs so that we can discuss with them towards developing it and ensuring that we partner with them for the benefit of our people,” Umahi said.
The forum threw its weight behind the November governorship election in Anambra State and called on the stakeholders to play according to rule.
“We have also, as a people at South-east Governors’ Forum, thrown our weight behind the November 2017 governorship election in Anambra State, and appeal to all stakeholders to ensure that we have a very peaceful election in the state,” he said.