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Regional Security: South South Governors Lack Direction – Former Minister



An elder statesman and former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien has said that the introduction of South-West security network, codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’ has exposed lack of direction among governors in the South-South zone.


Essien, who also represented Eket Federal State Constituency in the House of Representatives – 1999-2007; made the assertion during an interview Monday in Uyo, lamented that whereas governors of the Southeast and some state governors in the north have rapidly indicated plans to have similar security networks in their zones, the South-South governors have remained quiet and unperturbed.


He said, “The introduction of the South-West security outfit ‘Operation Amotekun’ and the rapid adoption by some state governors in the north and the plan by South East governors to have a similar security outfit has exposed the lack of direction among the governors in the South-South.


“For some years now, the South-South governors have not been able to work together in the interest of the zone. Most of them are either pursuing personal interests or their state’s interest to the exclusion of the overall interest of the zone.


“It is very much unlike what happened between 1999 and 2003 when the South-South governors along with members of the National Assembly from the zone stood strongly for the interest of the South-South”


Essien recalled that between 2003 and 2007 South- South governors had proposed regional cooperation within the zone and formed BRACED Commission, and regretted that subsequent administrations have not been able to follow up.


He stressed that the regional cooperation contributed to the successes the past governors of the region had recorded such as the agitation for the payment of 13per cent derivation which they succeeded in getting it paid.


“They rallied around the whole country to remove the onshore/offshore oil dichotomy and it was removed. They also worked together for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) and it was established.


“The agitation for resource control was in the fore-front during this period. Between 2003 and 2007 they proposed regional cooperation within the zone and formed BRACED Commission which regrettably subsequent administrations have not followed up.


“I am now calling on the leaders of the South-South as well as members of the National Assembly from the region to call the attention of these governors on the need for them to put the zone together,” Essien said.

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