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South-South Governors express displeasure as Presidency shuns security meeting



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South-South Governors and leaders from the Niger Delta region have expressed their displeasure and demanded an apology from the Presidency for shunning the region’s stakeholders meeting. 

The meeting scheduled to be held in Rivers State on Tuesday was to discuss the emerging threats to the peace in the Niger Delta region that includes Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta , Edo and Rivers State.

Invitation to the meeting was sent to the Presidency via the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari but to the dismay of the South-South, the Presidency called off the meeting over an emergency security meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

While conveying the news that the Presidency would not be present at the meeting, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Chairman of the South-South Governor’s forum urged the people to remain calm despite the insult meted to them. 

Okowa who spoke on behalf of other governors told the stakeholders comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders and the people of the zone that the Governors will express their displeasure to the Presidency and they should expect an apology from the Presidency. 

He said the anger they have displayed is understandable because a lot of people have lost sleep over the meeting. 

The Delta State Governor said, “We understand the anger in you, and on our own part as governors, we are also angry because the South-South zone is a very important part of this nation. 

“There is no doubt that we the governors also feel insulted and we feel very sad and touched at what has happened.

“We felt it was necessary to consult with you as critical stakeholders because if we had acted on the information without consulting you, that would have added to the insult already meted to us. 

“Together we call for a public apology because the meeting was not called at our instance; it was called at the instance of the Presidency. 

“Some of us didn’t sleep trying to put things in order to make this meeting a reality. “We will convey this message to the Chief of Staff to the President that as a region we deserve a public apology, particularly to our traditional rulers and opinion leaders and also to the Governors that you voted into office.

 “This is the least we expect before this meeting can be reconvened,” He said.

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