Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, on Wednesday disclosed that plans weare in high gear to create Southern Nigeria Governors Forum in order to provide an effective platform to enable them discuss issues of common interest.
Since the inception of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, governors from Nigeria’s 19 Northern states have been meeting regularly to discuss issues of common interest. The Arewa House in Kaduna also houses a research and documentation centre for the governors to tap into when the need arises.
Uduaghan, who made the disclosure at the 4th General Conference of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) in Asaba also said that the country would not disintegrate in spite of its numerous challenges.
According to Uduaghan, the South-South and the South East governor are meeting and are making moves to involve the South West so that they can have the southern Nigeria governors’ forum.
He said, “If we are able to deal with our political differences, but we are making a lot of moves and I want to assure everyone here that when it is possible that meeting will surely go on. This is because apart from our political differences, there are issues that affect southern Nigeria that will be better resolved when the leaders of the regions meet”.
The governor thanked the stakeholders of the SNPA and the guest lecturers for their speeches but differs with the lecturers on their perceived fear of disintegration of the country. He said though there were challenges, the country would not disintegrate because President Goodluck Jonathan was handling all the perceived challenges with sincerity and maturity.
He said that one of such challenges was the issue of Boko Haram, adding that the sects’ activities have been reduced “and there are signs that the militant group will see reasons to embrace peaceful co-existence in the country.
Uduaghan seized the opportunity of the gathering to promote the president, saying, “The Jonathan’s administration has done a lot to improve the nation’s economy and engendered a lot of growth and foreign direct investments and interest. The benefits of the economic growth will take some time to trickle down to the masses.
“The national conference has provided a platform for us to discuss and we are free to say anything in this world except the issues of disintegration of Nigeria. It is only when we discuss that issues are resolved.”
He however advised the people of Southern Nigeria to be prepared to make their points known at the national conference. “So, we should be hopeful and let us be positive because the future of Nigeria is bright. Nigeria will not disintegrate in the era of President Goodluck Jonathan and no ravaging fire of ethnic nationalism can consume this country.” Uduaghan said.