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No disrespect intended; Presidency reacts to its absence at the South-South security meeting



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The Presidency has reacted to the absence of the federal government delegation at the planned Tuesday security meeting with the leaders and people of the South-South region. 

The Presidency through a statement released by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Wednesday said the absence was because of an urgent meeting with security officials and not out of disrespect. 

Recall that NewsWireNGR reported on Tuesday that the six South-South states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers State had a scheduled meeting with the Presidency to discuss the emerging threats to the peace in the Niger Delta region

But the Presidency missed the meeting citing an emergency security meeting as the reason.

The Niger Delta region was offended by what they described as the government shunning the meeting in short notice and demanded an apology from the Presidency. 

However, in the statement released by the Presidency on Wednesday, they said that the federal government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari were set to leave for Rivers State where the meeting was held until they were directed to stay back for the emergency meeting. 

Full statement reads: 

“The Presidency wishes to explain that the absence of the federal government delegation at the planned meeting with governors and stakeholders of the South-South region was necessitated by an emergency security meeting summoned by the President, certainly not out of disrespect. 

“The delegation to the meeting, under the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, ministers and heads of security and intelligence agencies were in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting. “This information and regret for the inconvenience caused were conveyed to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.

“As may have been gleaned from the statement read by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, the extraordinary National Security Council meeting, under the President, was called in view of the gravity of the security situation affecting all parts of the country, including the South-South in the aftermath of the ENDSARS protests, and the need to rise to protect our national security and territorial integrity.

“The President is strongly and resolutely committed to hearing from leaders, stakeholders and our youth on burning issues affecting all parts of the federation, and to this effect, a new date for the meeting with the South-South will be agreed after due consultations with the parties concerned. Once again, the unavoidable postponement of the meeting is regretted.”

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