Governors of the South-south geopolitical zone on Sunday in Enugu unanimously appointed Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State as Chairman of the South-south Governorsâ€™ Forum.
The appointment of Dickson came after a meeting the South-south governors had with their South-east counterpart in the coal city state.
Dickson thanked his colleagues for the confidence reposed in him and called for the supportÂ and robust partnership of the governors, leaders and people of the zone to reposition the South-south, a region with enormous resources, vast potential and challenges!
He fixed the forumâ€™s inaugural meeting in Port Harcourt on August 28, 2017.
At the combined meeting, the South-south and South-east governors, they resolved to pursue inter-regional cooperation and integration for the economicÂ benefit of the two regions and unity of Nigeria.
The resolution, which was reached at the Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, the Enugu State capital, had Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, his Abia StateÂ counterpart, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Chief Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, while the Anambra State Governor was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.
Others are Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom State and the host governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State, all in attendance.
Delivering a four-point communiquÃ© to journalists shortly after the meeting, Emmanuel noted that the governors agreed to work together and realign to strengthen the socio-cultural relationships existing between people of the two regions.
According to him, the inaugural meeting also unanimously endorsed him as the interim Chairman of the South-south and South-east Governorsâ€™ Forum, which comprises 11 states.
He said the forum reviewed the state of the nation, particularly the issues affecting the two regions and also fixed its next meeting for August 27, 2017 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the host governor, Ugwuanyi, noted that building a stronger inter-regional socio-economic and political bloc would provide the benefits of economies of scale and better economies of scale and attract both local and foreign investments to the two regions.
Ugwuanyi, who canvassed the support of his South-south colleagues in the ongoing efforts to create a South-east Development Commission, maintained that effective inter-regional cooperation would enable the leaders command greater political capital to influence the decisions of the federal government for the betterment of their people.
He urged the forum to speak with one voice and appealed to the federal government to review its borrowing plans from the China EXIM Bank for a railway development, with a view to including the Eastern railway corridor, which runs across the South-South, South-east, North-central and terminates in the North-east.