South-east governors have boycotted a regional bi-partisan meeting which held today in Igbere, Abịa State.
The governors rather decided to hold a virtual South-east Governors Forum meeting during which they disassociated themselves from the bi-partisan meeting.
The bi-partisan meeting notice, which circulated online a few days ago, listed National Assembly principal officers from the region led by the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the five governors of the region as conveners.
The notice further said the meeting would hold at Camp Neya, Igbere country home of Mr Kalu from 12 p.m.
The conveners had said the gathering was a “bipartisan meeting with members of All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and other political parties expected to attend.”
But, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, told journalists on Tuesday that the governors were not involved in the planning of the meeting.
Mr Umahi, who briefed the media after a virtual meeting with the governors, said “the organisers used the names of the governors as conveners without their permission.”
“Today 5th January, 2021, the South East Governors had their meeting and all the Governors were in attendance and the meeting resolved as follows:
“There was a bi-partisan meeting called today and the initiator went ahead to use the names of Governors without consulting them as part of the conveners of such a meeting.
“The Governors of South East frowns at such attitude and would want to disassociate themselves from such a meeting,” he said.
Mr Umahi, who disclosed that all the five regional governors attended the virtual Governors forum’s meeting which held at the same time as the bi-partisan meeting explained why the governors boycotted the Igbere meeting.
“If there should be such a meeting which they feel is very necessary, the governors must be seen to be informed and be part and parcel of calling such a meeting. They strongly feel that Ohanaeze is in position to speak on such issues.
“So, they want to say that the governors are not involved and they encouraged all their people to boycott such a meeting,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governors expressed concern over killings and kidnappings that occurred in the last few days in the zone.
The governors recalled that two days ago, two policemen were killed in Imo State with their rifles stolen.
He said there was an upsurge in kidnapping cases along the Enugu and Ebonyi borders “with the rescue of the victims by the governors of the zone through divine intervention”.
“We are very much worried, it is not those that are not from South-east that are doing it, it is our own people that are doing it. They want to cause panic, they want to cause disunity in this country. We want the leaders of South-east to rise above political sentiments to speak out and to condemn this act because should the security people act, the cry will go everywhere,” he said.
The governors condemned a viral video from Ebonyi State that claimed that herders residing in the state “were being attacked and chased out of the state by their host communities.”
They described the video as falsehood and attempt to cause panic and disunity in the country.
“For instance, two days ago in Ebonyi State, the Fulani settlement decided to move to Taraba State and retain some of the family members in Ebonyi and of cause, the man is still here. A politician, as we heard from intelligence gathering, went to put a voice and said that Igbo are chasing away the herdsmen from Ebonyi State. Such a video went very wide and was causing panic in other parts of the country and that is very much uncalled for,” he said.
The official said the governors would do all possible to secure the region.
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