Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The South East Governors’ Forum last night in Enugu asked the State Houses of Assembly in the five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo to come up with the necessary legislation to back up the formation of a South-east Security outfit.
The proposed new law will also give a name and other details of the outfit which launch is expected to be supervised by the federal government.
Rising from about five-hour closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu, the governors said they had already officially written the federal government on their plans, noting that the regional security outfit would ensure that security of lives and property of the people of the zone were guaranteed.
A communiqué read by the Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi revealed that the governors received briefing from the Zonal Security Committee as well as other committees saddled with the responsibilities of finding solutions to problems facing different sectors in the zone.
The governors also received the Ime-Obi members of apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by its President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
According to the communique, the South-east governors were the first to form a joint security on July 28, 2019 and inaugurated the committee on August 31, 2019, long before the formation of Amotekun by South-west governors.
“The forum took briefing from Chairman of South-east Joint Security Committee and is satisfied with all the arrangement that will lead to South-east state Houses of Assembly to enact a law to back up the South-east Security Programme with a name to the outfit.
“Forum had written the federal government in this respect and at an appropriate time we shall be inviting the federal government to note the details of our various committees for protection of lives and property.”
“The forum assures the people of the zone that that the states have their vigilante and the Forest Guards who will work with security agencies daily in various communities for protection of lives and property.
“The South East Governors took a brief on the rehabilitation and expansion of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu from the Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Chairman of the Works Committee of the South East Governors on the Project, Mr. Chris Okoye.
“Forum noted the quality and speedy progress of work by the contractor, PW Big. Limited. Forum is very satisfied with the progress so far mad and assurances of integrated safety and landing facilities, fencing and drainages incorporated in his package.”
The forum therefore commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika for the project and assures the people of South-east that the federal government was committed to the reopening of the Airport by March 31, 2020.
Abia State Governor, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazi and his Anambra counterpart, Mr. Willie Obiano represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke respectively according to the communique had briefed the forum on the progress of work on Enyimba Economic City and Second Niger Bridge.
The governors said a full view of ongoing work on Second Niger Bridge was shown to them and the Forum and stakeholders commended President Buhari; Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola; the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari and the Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji for the project a reality.
The meeting was attended by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State; Chairman of the Forum, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke.