By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
South-South Governors and stakeholders from the geopolitical zone have demanded restructuring in line with the principles of true federalism to guarantee peace, security, and stability of the country.
The stakeholders also called for the revitalisation of all the ports in the region such as the Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Warri ports.
They also asked the Federal Government to immediately privatise all the refineries to make them functional and boost the economy of the region.
The stakeholders further demanded the relocation of all the subsidiaries of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the region.
The Governors observed the country was not at peace with itself and not working as it should, particularly, for the people of the South-South region.
Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, Ifeanyi Okowa, presented the position of the zone during the regional stakeholders’ meeting with a presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Okowa explained residents of South-South were committed to restructuring the country to guarantee true federalism and devolution of powers to the states to create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.
The Governors called for the relocation of the headquarters of major oil companies, NNPC subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the South-South region.
They requested the immediate implementation of the consent judgment entered in the Supreme Court Suit No: SC/964/2016 to enable the South-South region to get its share of $55bn shortfalls of collection on deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts.
The governors further called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Warri to enhance the economic development of the region.
They demanded that the two refineries in Port Harcourt and one in Warri that have continued to bleed the country’s resources in the name of turnaround maintenance should be privatised.
Gambari said the stakeholders’ meeting was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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He said the President ordered the presidential delegation comprising all the ministers from the region to visit and consult the representatives of the people regarding the recent EndSARS protest.
Gambari noted that reports indicated that there were instances, where the breakdown of law and order was reported across various locations in the South-South states.
He lauded the governors of the South-South states for their quick response and actions in addressing the EndSARS crisis.
Those who attended the meeting were Govs Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ben Ayade (Cross River); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Others were Minister of Niger Delta Godswill Akpabio; Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Power Goddy Jedy- Agba; Minister of State for Niger Delta Festus Keyamo; Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire and Minister of Information, Lai Mohammad.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi was, however, absent.
Other eminent persons present were the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, rtd; former President, Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha (SAN); President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Worldwide, among others.