No Going Back On Creation Of Regional Security Network, Says Okowa

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]


Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, says there is no going back on the planned creation of regional security outfit in the south-south.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, governor Okowa said regardless of some criticisms trailing the move, he and his colleagues will not be deterred by some negative comments.

According to him, the governors decided to create the outfit to address the security challenges facing the region for the overall good of the people.

“The fact is that whatever you do, even when you mean the best for our state and the best for this nation, you always have a statement of people turning it into politics and some people will want to criticise you.

READ ALSO: APC Denies Convening Emergency National Executive Committee Meeting

“But as governors, ours is to do things in the best interests of the states and in the best interest in the larger majority of the people. We cannot stop people from playing politics out of whatever we do.

“We are not going to be deterred by the criticisms of some group of people. We are elected as governors to do the best we can to secure our people and to bring development to our people,” he stated.

Speaking further, the Delta State helmsman noted that the regional governors do not need to seek permission from anybody or group before carrying out their constitutional responsibility.

He believes that following a joint meeting, there is an urgent “need to share a security approach. There is a need to support the security agencies – the police, military with the civilian outfit so that collaboratively, we can truly become more efficient.”

Okowa’s comment comes shortly after the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) warned the South-South governors against establishing a regional security outfit.

In a statement, the group accused the governors of having an ulterior political motive behind the move for the outfit.

South-South Governors To Float Regional Security Outfit

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]


Governors of the South-South states have announced a plan to launch a regional security outfit that will secure the region.

Speaking during a meeting in Asaba on Thursday, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said the move is necessary to address the security challenges facing the oil-rich states.

This is coming days after Houses of Assembly in the South-West passed the bill for the Operation Amotekun.

Okowa also said that he and his colleague in the region deliberated on the resuscitation of the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Commission.

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The Commission, according to the governors, will harmonise policies that would drive the economic cooperation and integration and set member states on a path for rapid economic growth and development.

Similarly, the governors called on the Federal Government to deduct the thirteen per cent derivation from the source before allocation to states.

“And we need to stress that in any allocation that is being done, 13 per cent derivation must first be taken out of the funds that come from oil revenue before the rest of the funds is shared out,” Okowa said.

On the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the governors called for a meeting of health commissioners in the region to map out preventive measures.

South-South, South-East Governors Worried Over Growing Agitations

Governors for the South South and South East under the aegis of the South-South South-East Governors forum on Sunday night met in Owerri, the Imo state capital expressing worry over growing agitations in the country.

The governors during the meeting which lasted till midnight back Nigeria’s indivisibility status and deliberate on what will foster unity and development in the region.

The chairman of the forum, Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom said the forum is concerned by the calls for a breakaway by some leaders adding that it is a worrying development.

READ ALSO: South-East, South-South Governors Back Nigeria’s Unity

“This forum is also concerned with the voices that are calling for self determination from some sections of our dear country. We are worried about the state of the nation which has given rise to growing agitations from all over the country. From the North to the South, East and West.

“Also of concern are the issues of justice, fairness, and equity which many believe are in deficit in our country,” he said.

Udom also said the forum irrespective of political differences have come together chat a new course that will foster economic interest and integration for the region and member states.

Governors present at the meeting include Abia State, Okezuo Ikpeazu, Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Cross River State, Bennedict Ayade, Bayalsa State, Seriaki Dickson, Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Deputy governor of Anambra state.


Okowa, Wike, Udom Meet To Discuss South-South Economic Growth

Three Governors in South-South region, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State on Monday held a closed-door meeting, discussing the economic growth of the region.

The meeting which was held at the government house, Asaba is aimed at boosting economic activities in the South – South region of the country and reviving the BRACED commission.

Governor Udom of Akwa Ibom State after the meeting disclosed that the main issues discussed at the meeting include security of the South-South region, revival of the BRACED commission and boosting economic growth.

“We are principally here to discuss economic issues as it affects the region; on behalf of our colleagues in the South-South states, we met to see how we can revive the braced commission and boost security in the region.

“There is the need for us to ensure that the area is safe, with the increase in the quantum of oil production, there is need to boost security in the region, in the interest of our region and the country,” he said.

BRACED is an acronym of the names of the six states of the South-South geo-political zone including Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta.

The commission was formed to foster economic development and integration of the oil rich region and to collectively pursue economic cooperation and integration with the sole objective of accelerating and improving the development of the region.


South-East, South-South Governors Back Nigeria’s Unity

South-East, South-South Governors Back Nigeria's Unity

Governors of the South-East and South-South geo-political zones have declared their support for Nigeria’s unity.

This follows a meeting of the governors which held late on Sunday evening at the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The governors condemned the use of hate speeches in the country and called on all Nigerians to ensure the nation remains united.

“Nigeria is a country that we all love, that we all have a passion for and we will do everything to maintain the unity and oneness in this country,” the Chairman of the forum and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, told reporters after the meeting.

Governor Emmanuel, however, said that the Federal Government has a negligible presence in the two regions, except in the area of policing.

“There is the reality of the dearth of infrastructure in this our region, especially federal roads in the two regions. Indeed, federal presence in the regions is very minimal and only noticeable in the presence of policemen,” he said.

On his part, Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State joined the call for Nigeria’s restructuring and devolution of power to states.

He said, “Above all, we must continue to demand the devolution of power and resources to the states, as well as the institutionalisation of the state police.”

The meeting, the second of its kind, was convened to deliberate on critical economic and political issues common to the interests of the states in Nigeria’s affairs.

It had in attendance seven governors and four deputy governors.

Other governors present at the meeting include Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.

Deputy governors who represented their governors were Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah who is the acting governor of Bayelsa; Dr. Nkem Okeke of Anambra, Mr Philip Shaibu of Edo State and Professor Ivara Esu of Cross River State.

South-South, South-East Governors Agree On Interregional Co-operation

Southeast and South South governors have agreed to pursue interregional cooperation for the economic benefits of both regions.

The leaders have also agreed to work together politically and realign as a people that share common heritage, culture and affinity.

They reached the agreement after a closed door meeting in Enugu.

Read Also: South-East Governors Condemn Hate Speeches

In attendance were the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; his counterpart from Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Others were the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

Also at the meeting was the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the President of the Ohanaeze Nd’igbo, John Nwodo.

South-South, South-East Governors Meet In Enugu

Governors of states in the South-South and South-East met on Saturday in Enugu.

The meeting had in attendance, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; his counterpart from Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Others were the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

Also at the meeting is the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the President of the Ohanaeze Nd’igbo, John Nwodo.

Read Also: South-East Governors Condemn Hate Speeches

Although the outcome of the meeting is still being expected, there are very strong indications that the meeting will continue its discussion on the restructuring of Nigeria, and the need for the practice of true federalism, which is what was discussed at their previous meeting, also in Enugu.

The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, and his counterpart from Bayelsa, were, however, absent from the meeting.

Also absent was the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano.

The host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in his opening remarks told the governors that there is the need for inter-regional cooperation saying it would help solve developmental issues accord the region.

Ugwuanyi also said that issues like road infrastructure and security will need inter-governmental synergy to solve them rather living for individual states.

President Buhari Mourns Senator Francis Okpozo

Muhammadu Buhari, Delta State, Francis OkpozoPresident Muhammadu Buhari expresses heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Delta State on the death of Mr Francis Okpozo.

The deceased was a Second Republic senator and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

President Buhari also sympathised with the family and friends of the late distinguished Senator, whose championing of social justice in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region during his long history of service to the people endeared him to many.

As a stalwart of the APC in the South-south, the President noted that the party greatly benefited from the octogenarian’s charismatic leadership and wealth of experience as a politician.

He expressed hope that all who mourned Senator Okpozo would sustain his legacy of unwavering dedication to the unity of Nigeria, even as the nation would fondly remember his contributions to peace, development and justice in the Niger Delta.

President Buhari prayed that God Almighty would comfort the family of the late senator and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.

The condolence message was issued on Wednesday by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina.

APC Chieftain Commends Buhari For Niger Delta Development

Buhari, Niger Delta, APCPresident Muhammadu Buhari has been commended for the spate of development ongoing in Nigeria’s South-south region.

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edet Umo, believes the gesture is the right step towards the development of the nation.

Mr Umo gave the commendation on Thursday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital when he received some APC stalwarts from Odukpani Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

He said the region was happy with the plans mapped out by the Buhari-led administration in the area of railway and road construction, aimed at curtailing youth restiveness and opening up more development for the Niger Delta people.

The APC chieftain noted that once there was visible development in any society, crime rate would be minimal as development tends to open doors of opportunities to engage the people.

Speaking on the development of the Odukpani Calabar-Itu road, he expressed hope that food would be easily transported, especially as Odukpani LGA was the main supplier of food within Nigeria’s Southsouth and southeast region.

South-south, South-east Lawmakers Oppose Grazing Bill

Lawmakers, Grazing BillLawmakers in Nigeria’s South-south and South-east geo-political zones have opposed the proposed grazing bill of the federal government.

The legislators also urge their counterparts at the National Assembly to kick against the bill, saying it is not in the interest of the nation’s unity.

The opinions were formed when they converged at Owerri, the Imo State capital, south-east Nigeria for the first parliamentary session of South-south and South-east State Assemblies to discuss the issues bothering on the proposed grazing bill as well as issues of militancy and bombings in the Niger Delta.

In his welcome address, the host and Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Acho Ihim, hinted that the South-south and the South-east states have many things in common in the region, not leaving out challenges,stressing the need for the first joint parliamentary session to bid a way forward in addressing their challenges.

Reacting to the grazing reserve proposals and activities of herdsmen in the geo-political zones, a lawmaker from Abia moved a motion on the position of legislators in both region.

After much deliberations and contributions, the legislators opposed the grazing bill, urging all Assemblies in the region to pass bills restricting cattle rearing and prohibit grazing of cattle from one location to another.

They insisted that the proposed bill to establish and control grazing routes and reserves should be rejected.

After the session, some of the lawmakers hinted that the theme of their gathering would go a long way to unite the South-south and South-east zones, as well as Nigeria in general.

In attendance were the Speakers from Ebonyi, Delta, Cross River, Imo, Edo, Bayelsa, and Abia states while Deputy Speakers from Akwa Ibom, Anambra and Enugu states represented their speaker amidst a large number of legislators from the the two zones.

Customs Impounds Vehicles, Goods Worth 545Million Naira

customsThe Federal Operations Unit Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded contraband with total duty paid value of five hundred and forty five (545) Million naira.

These goods ranging from vehicles, second hand clothing, school bags, expired bags of rice and cartons of engine oil.

While conducting journalists round the seizures at the Abia/Imo command in Owerri the Imo state capital, the Area Comptroller of the FOU Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service Mr Victor Dimka says the seizures were made within 7 days of intense operation by officers of the command in 11 states of the South-South and South-East under the zone.

He said the officers were motivated by the marching orders from the leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service to ensure that more revenue is being generated for the federal government, he said the officers of the command will stop at nothing until smuggling is brought to its barest minimal.

The command says it has arrested 10 suspects who are already in custody to be charged to court as investigation has commenced.


NASS Crisis: Speaker Dogara Explains Why He Shunned APC’s Letter

dogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has explained that he was unable to act on the letter forwarded to him by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress because of a pending court case.

Speaking at a parley with former House Representatives members, Representative Dogara, however, said that the fracas that occurred in the House of Reps chambers last Thursday (June 25) was inexcusable and unacceptable.

The Speaker said that although he had wanted to act on the party’s letter nominating some persons as principal officers of the House, as a law abiding citizen he was compelled to do otherwise as a result of a pending court case instituted by about 36 APC lawmakers from the North Central zone.

The APC lawmakers alleged that the party had schemed them out in violation of constitutional provision on Federal Character Principle.

He said that the tradition has been that the six principal positions are shared evenly among the six geopolitical zones of the country in accordance with the Federal Character Principle.

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had decided on the party’s position on principal officers of the 8th House of Representatives.

According to reports from the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 23 2015, the APC had written to the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, listing out the lawmakers that should fill the party’s remaining four leadership positions.

For House Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila from South-west zone was selected and Honourable Ado Doguwa of the North-west zone was nominated for the position of Deputy House Leader.

Honourable Mohammed Monguno from the North-east zone was chosen as the Chief Whip while Honourable Pally Iriase from the South-south zone was selected for Deputy Chief Whip.

Plenary at the House of Representatives was disrupted by some members over the nomination of principal officers. The disruption on Thursday by some lawmakers, who protested a call by the Speaker for an Executive Session, turned the session into a rowdy one.