Southern Governors to meet in Delta over nation’s insecurity
Governors in the Southern part of the country under the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum on Tuesday evening, met to discuss the state of the nation.
The meeting held virtually and was at the instance of Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, Ifeanyi Okowa and David Umahi of Ondo, Delta and Ebonyi states respectively.
The three governors are Chairmen of the Southwest, South South and South East Governors’ Forums respectively too.
The governors met just as the Ondo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun evicted 137 illegal occupiers of Government Forest Reserves at Iron in Ose local government area of the State.
The affected persons, mostly of Fulani extraction, claimed they had access to the land through the collaboration of some chiefs in the area.
Fifteen of the 17 Governors from the Southern part attended the meeting. They include; Ekiti State Governor who doubles as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Nyesom Wike(Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa(Delta), David Umahi(Ebonyi), Godswin Obaseki,(Edo), and Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo(depity gpvernor of Enugu representing the governor).
Others are: Douye Diri(Bayelsa), Emmanuel Udom(Akwa Ibom), Okezie Victor Ikpeazu(Abia), Hope Uzodimma(Imo), Dapo Abiodun(Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Seyi Makinde(Oyo) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu(Lagos).
The Governors who called for commitment and unity in addressing issues that affect the country, particularly the Southern Nigeria, stressed the need to put the country first in the face of the trying times.
Full details of the outcome of the meeting were still sketchy as at press time. However, as part of their resolution, the governors agreed to meet in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, next week to harmonize positions aimed at dousing the tension in the country.
But a source close to one ot the governors from the South South said although the meeting was long overdue, the move by the three governors was commendable.
“The three governors, especially the chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum have provided good leadershop and direction to the extent that a proper path to confidence building has been laid.
“It is coming a bit late but it has largely shown that there are still leaders who think of the nation’s unity first before any other. The kernel of the meeting was that Nigeria is too important to let into conflagration. It’s a good move, no doubt”, he said.
Meanwhile, the illegal occupants of the Ondo forest reserves were moved put on Tuesday in two buses and trailer. They were apprehended at Elegbeka forest along Ifon-Owo road on their arrival from unknown destinations
Governor Akeredolu had few weeks ago, ordered the eviction of illegal occupants of the state government forest reserves who refused to register with government.
The governor’s action followed the gruesome murder of the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adegoke Adeusi who was shot dead on the Owo-Ifon route few months ago. The killers are yet to be known.
In an interview, the State Commander of Amotekun Corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye stated that the the illegal forest occupants had to be escorted out of Ondo state to where they came from.
“We got an Intel that very many people bombarded the forests reserves at legbeka–Ifon area in the state. We moved in and on questioning, majority of them said they were from the northern part of the country.
“We asked for thier mission they were not able to give us a clear cut of what they are here for. We brought some of them (to Akure) and their sponsors here to the headquarters (of Amotekun) for proper investigation.
“We profiled them and we found out that they were conniving with some persons in Ose to be given space for settlement in the government’s forest reserve which makes them illegal occupants of the forests. We are sending them back to where they claimed they came from,” Adeleye said.