Gov. Mr. Peter Obi
Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Governors of the five states in the South-east geo-political zone on Monadymet with other political leaders, interest groups and opinion moulders from the zone in Enugu with the sole objective of harmonising the various state creation agitations in the zone among other issues raised in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.
At the end of the three-hour meeting however, no definite decision was reached, as the leaders adjourned to meet at a later date.
No fewer than seven state demands were made by different groups from the existing five states in the zone with each of them receiving backing from powerful politicians in their respective areas.
Among the demands which literally took the shine off other critical issues that were raised during the zonal public hearing organised by the Senate in Enugu were demands for the creation of Adada State which is the present Enugu North senatorial zone; Anim State which would constitute parts of Anambra and Imo states, Aba State which is the present Abia South senatorial zone.
Others are, Equity State which would involve local governments from virtually all the five states, Njaba State which would be made up of 12 out of the 27 councils in Imo State; Orashi State which would be mainly the oil producing communities from Imo and Anambra States, Orimili and Etiti states.
The meeting, which was held at the Government House, Enugu, attracted the presence of Governors Peter Obi (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), and the Acting Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, while the Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, was represented by his deputy, Col, Emeka Ananaba (rtd).
Other notable leaders who equally attended the meeting were former Governor Achike Udenwa of Imo State, Senator Ayogu Eze, former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, and Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd), former Information Minister Nnia Nwodo, an elder statesman from Abia State, Elder Adaelu, traditional rulers among others.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the meeting which was held behind closed doors, the chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, Governor Obi, said the meeting was a preliminary one, noting that they would still re-converge with a view to taking definite stand on some of the issues raised.
Though he refused to give further details, THISDAY checks revealed that most of the agitators maintained their individual positions, preferring that referendum should be organised across the zone to ascertain the area that needed the proposed state more than the others.
Others, according to a source at the meeting however agreed to abide by any decision reached by the governors as well as other political leaders from the zone on the issue “provided it is transparently done.”
But Governor Okorocha who also spoke to reporters before leaving the venue of the meeting a bit earlier than others, said one thing the meeting achieved was to unite the people of the zone, expressing optimism that “for the first time, the people and leaders of the Igbo nation have agreed to unite and speak with one voice.”
According to him, the issue of state creation matter would be concluded as soon as possible and assured the people that the zone was together on the issue.