•Urge IG to revert to agreement on community policing
By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze
Governors of the five South-east states yesterday urged their Houses of Assembly to enact laws to enable them set up a security agency in each of the five states that would offer regional protection to the people.
They said such laws would be in tandem with the South-east Joint Security programme aimed at combating the myriads of security problems facing the region.
The governors, in a communiqué issued at the end of their closed-door meeting in Enugu, disagreed with the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, on his recent communication with the governors on community policing composition.
They said it breached the agreement they reached during the IG’s last visit to the zone.
The forum Chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Dave Umahi, who read the communiqué to journalists at the end of their meeting, said the governors would not begin the implementation of the community policing arrangements until the programme reflects their earlier agreement.
“The South-east governors and their leaders request the IG to revert to our initial agreement reached on community policing at Enugu,” they said.
On COVID-19, the meeting, which had in attendance Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State), Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo State), and Mr. Ude Chukwu (Deputy Governor of Abia State); President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-east zone, Bishop Goddy Okafor, urged the Igbo living outside the region to obey all extant pandemic orders, including a presidential directive on interstate movement restriction, WHO and NCDC hygiene protocols, presidential task force and directive of governors of wherever they live.
They also agreed to engage the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to scale up testing for the virus in the South-east.
On the economy, the governors resolved to set up committees in their various states to work with the federal government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in their various programmes lined up to rejig the economy, especially in areas like agriculture, SME and solid minerals.
They also agreed to hold a virtual meeting with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, on how to link the South-east state capitals with the gas pipeline alongside the pipeline programme of the federal government, which is running from Imo State to Lagos State.
The governors applauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, on the progress of work at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
They assured the people that with what has been achieved so far, they were hopeful that the airport would reopen soonest, subject to COVID-19 and federal government’s programme.
They also expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the Second Niger Bridge and commended the president, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and Julius Berger for their commitment to complete the project on time.
The meeting also asked the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to submit a working document during their next meeting on the South-east Stabilisation Fund.