Economic/Security summit: South-East govs, leaders resolve to end insecurity

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SPECIAL REPORT

September 29, 2023

Economic/Security summit: South-East govs, leaders resolve to end insecurity

Economic/Security summit: South-East govs, leaders resolve to end insecurity

By Chioma Gabriel, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Chinonso Alozie 

IGBO leaders, yesterday, dissected the raging wave of insecurity in the South-East geo-political zone and marshalled solutions to end the problem.null

Governors of the five states of the zone, leaders of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo among other leaders in Owerri, resolved to end insecurity in the area.https://live.primis-amp.tech/content/video/amp/videoIframe.php?s=114290#amp=1

The event was 2023 South-East Summit on Economy and Security in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Speaker after speaker harped on how insecurity has damaged the region and brought untold hardship and suffering to her people and economy.

Dignitaries at the event included former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; Senator Ifeanyi Uba; former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika; former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro; Minister of Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Senator Uche Ekwunife; Minister of Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji as well as the clergy among others.

Prof Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof Charles Soludo, Anyim Pius Anyim, and Igboezue among others took turns to tackle the Igbo question.

We attack, undermine each other — Okonjo-Iweala

The Director General World Trade Organisation, WTO, Okonjo Iweala in her speech attributed the underdevelopment of the South-East region to the attacks and undermining of one another by residents of the zone. 

She spoke through online video. 

She said: “This is an extraordinary gathering while coming together to consider the economic and social development of the region. I will say it is about time. Nigeria is facing a lot of crises and at the same time changing rapidly.null

“If the initiative of this gathering succeeds and achieves results, then it will be  a start of  enjoyment to improving the lives of our people in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Umuahia, and Imo States. 

Related News

“The zone has the potential to become a place of good governance. A redirected South-East will make our young men and women become part of the team of the digitizing world. 

“Back home, we must fully own up to our problems while looking at the many available solutions. The South-East has so many talents and opportunities. I think they can plan how to explore them all to the benefit of the region and its people. 

S-East biggest challenge 

“On the challenges, I am sure you want me to mention the gaps in infrastructure. Yes, that is the challenge and we have to come to that. And I don’t think it is our biggest challenge. Our biggest challenge in the South-East is itself. We have often been our own worst enemies. We have allowed ourselves to be divided. 

“We have lost focus. We have lost sight of our biggest community assets. We are fragmented as a people. We don’t support each other. Instead, we attack and undermine each other. We are too individualistic. An individual can be good but not better than when we come together as a body. null

“But there is a bright side to this challenge. The big problems are us and it means that the solution lies in our hands. If we can build a sense of common purpose and coalition, we can solve any problem. We have to do that through joint leadership as you are taking this step today.

No devt without security

“Our other big challenge is security. Insecurity in our region is sending the wrong signal that no one can invest in the South-East. The lesson is clear.

” We can’t have development without security. To sustain development is possible but the sit-at-home is one of the problems. And to move forward, we have to solve the issue of insecurity.” 

We’ve to sit together as one family — Nwifuru

Speaking, the governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, represented by the Deputy Governor, Patricia Obila, said: “The security summit came at the right time. We have to sit together as one family. We have come of age. We need to talk to one another. Look at each other. 

“We need peace. As a mother, what have you been able to do, have you talked to your children? Know where children are? These vices started at home.https://06086e9f3884a4a85cfb17959a13b4e8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

“All we need is to believe in ourselves. We have to come together and harness what we have. For Ebonyi State, we are committed to achieving these projects.”

We’ve been strangulated — Uzodimma 

The host governor, Hope Uzodimma, was of the view: “We have allowed ourselves to be strangulated. We have willfully allowed ourselves to be divided. And the scripture says a house that is divided against itself cannot stand. Some of our brothers even refused to be referred to as Igbo. That is how sorry and sad our story is. 

“That is why Igbo have become distant from the politics of the Igbo. So, what do we do? Do we allow ourselves to continue to drift? To end this, we have to tell ourselves some bitter truth. Unfortunately or fortunately, the challenge of insecurity is bringing us together. We are now surrounded by dangerous criminals who want to decimate us and take over Igboland. 

“We are facing the worst form of insecurity where we are divided.”

On the way out, he pointed out that among other things, the “Ohanaeze Ndigbo should penetrate the grassroots, set up their branches everywhere preach morality, teach our young people about culture and tradition and make life more meaningful in our land. And all the existing Igbo groups should dissolve into the Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.” null

We should meet regularly — Mbah

The Governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, in his speech said: “We have the commonality of everything. We have Igbo. What we should be talking about now is how we meet regularly with the security agencies to discuss insecurity challenges in our area.

“I think what we should do is set up a command and control centre. We should look at the non-kinetic approach in dealing with this insecurity.  Some of our youths are being deceived and we have to meet the community leaders and find a solution to this insecurity.”

On the issue of the economy, he said: “There is a need to have a common market that will be a centre that will grow the economy of the region and from there, we look at how to create a comparative advantage for the different states of the region.

“We now look at the key enablers which include road transportation. We also look at how we construct a ring road that connects the South-East region. At the end of this summit, we should employ the best of our brains to implement the ideas we have gathered here today.” 

We’ve to listen to plights of our youths — Otti

Also speaking at the event, the Abia State governor, Dr. Alex Otti, said there is need to end the issue of insecurity and grow the economy of the region.https://d-3392061805933301249.ampproject.net/2309151607000/nameframe.html

“For us to have a way forward, we must be willing to engage with our youths to know their problems. We must begin to know there is anger in the land. Another issue is to fight the issue of drug abuse and cut all the channels they use in supplying these drugs,” he added.

S-East must determine to move forward despite  challenges — Soludo

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State said that the South-East must have the self-belief to turn things around despite insecurity and other challenges facing the zone.

Soludo said the region must make all efforts to thrive despite insecurity, insisting that the zone is far from being the most insecure place in the world.

His words: “I have heard the speeches given, books of lamentations. It is very good to lament but I would rather like to see a glass as half-full than half-empty. The South-East is ready for business; the South-East is ripe for business and we must all believe in our ability to turn things around  and get the South-East going again.

“That must be the outcome of this particular summit. We can lament about insecurity and so on; this is not the most insecure place in the world, other places are thriving despite their insecurity.https://d-3392061805933301249.ampproject.net/2309151607000/nameframe.html

“When I arrived in Anambra, eight local governments were totally under siege by these hoodlums. They are all gone, we are settling into business. They would not deter us, Anambra, the South-East all of us, we must be determined to move our place forward despite the challenges.” 

Soludo charged South-East indigenes not to wait for all the problems to be solved by the governors before they can come to invest in the zone, adding that if they don’t stop seeing only gloom and doom “this place will be a desolate homeland.”

According to Soludo, the South-East renaissance should not stop at self-belief, the region should also partner with the rest of the country, the diaspora, and the international community.

“We need not just ourselves, we need Nigeria. Ndigbo need Nigeria and Nigeria needs Ndigbo. Ndigbo need Africa and the world and the World and Africa need Ndigbo. As an itinerant people, we cannot be an intolerant people.

“We need the partnership of everybody, partnership of the rest of the country, partnership of the diaspora, and partnership with the international community.”null

Dialogue with Biafra agitators — Anyim 

Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, called for a rethink of the Biafra agitation and strategies to deal with insecurity in the South-East.

Anyim said that robust discussions with the agitators will generate lasting solutions to the insecurity plaguing the zone.

He warned that going by recent developments, the region risks losing economic and political relevance in the country, with drastic consequences already being felt by the people of the region after years of insecurity and agitation that have been used as a cover by criminal elements to thrive.

“Insecurity has worsened in the southeast with gunmen attacking residents every day. Yet, the circumstances that led to the civil war in 1967 appeared not to be the same thing as what the current agitators are doing.

“This is why the leaders should bring the agitators closer to understanding their yearnings.

SPECIAL REPORT

September 29, 2023

Economic/Security summit: South-East govs, leaders resolve to end insecurity

Economic/Security summit: South-East govs, leaders resolve to end insecurity

By Chioma Gabriel, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Chinonso Alozie 

IGBO leaders, yesterday, dissected the raging wave of insecurity in the South-East geo-political zone and marshalled solutions to end the problem.null

Governors of the five states of the zone, leaders of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo among other leaders in Owerri, resolved to end insecurity in the area.https://live.primis-amp.tech/content/video/amp/videoIframe.php?s=114290#amp=1

The event was 2023 South-East Summit on Economy and Security in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Speaker after speaker harped on how insecurity has damaged the region and brought untold hardship and suffering to her people and economy.

Dignitaries at the event included former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; Senator Ifeanyi Uba; former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika; former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro; Minister of Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Senator Uche Ekwunife; Minister of Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji as well as the clergy among others.

Prof Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof Charles Soludo, Anyim Pius Anyim, and Igboezue among others took turns to tackle the Igbo question.

We attack, undermine each other — Okonjo-Iweala

The Director General World Trade Organisation, WTO, Okonjo Iweala in her speech attributed the underdevelopment of the South-East region to the attacks and undermining of one another by residents of the zone. 

She spoke through online video. 

She said: “This is an extraordinary gathering while coming together to consider the economic and social development of the region. I will say it is about time. Nigeria is facing a lot of crises and at the same time changing rapidly.null

“If the initiative of this gathering succeeds and achieves results, then it will be  a start of  enjoyment to improving the lives of our people in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Umuahia, and Imo States. 

Related News

“The zone has the potential to become a place of good governance. A redirected South-East will make our young men and women become part of the team of the digitizing world. 

“Back home, we must fully own up to our problems while looking at the many available solutions. The South-East has so many talents and opportunities. I think they can plan how to explore them all to the benefit of the region and its people. 

S-East biggest challenge 

“On the challenges, I am sure you want me to mention the gaps in infrastructure. Yes, that is the challenge and we have to come to that. And I don’t think it is our biggest challenge. Our biggest challenge in the South-East is itself. We have often been our own worst enemies. We have allowed ourselves to be divided. 

“We have lost focus. We have lost sight of our biggest community assets. We are fragmented as a people. We don’t support each other. Instead, we attack and undermine each other. We are too individualistic. An individual can be good but not better than when we come together as a body. null

“But there is a bright side to this challenge. The big problems are us and it means that the solution lies in our hands. If we can build a sense of common purpose and coalition, we can solve any problem. We have to do that through joint leadership as you are taking this step today.

No devt without security

“Our other big challenge is security. Insecurity in our region is sending the wrong signal that no one can invest in the South-East. The lesson is clear.

” We can’t have development without security. To sustain development is possible but the sit-at-home is one of the problems. And to move forward, we have to solve the issue of insecurity.” 

We’ve to sit together as one family — Nwifuru

Speaking, the governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, represented by the Deputy Governor, Patricia Obila, said: “The security summit came at the right time. We have to sit together as one family. We have come of age. We need to talk to one another. Look at each other. 

“We need peace. As a mother, what have you been able to do, have you talked to your children? Know where children are? These vices started at home.https://06086e9f3884a4a85cfb17959a13b4e8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

“All we need is to believe in ourselves. We have to come together and harness what we have. For Ebonyi State, we are committed to achieving these projects.”

We’ve been strangulated — Uzodimma 

The host governor, Hope Uzodimma, was of the view: “We have allowed ourselves to be strangulated. We have willfully allowed ourselves to be divided. And the scripture says a house that is divided against itself cannot stand. Some of our brothers even refused to be referred to as Igbo. That is how sorry and sad our story is. 

“That is why Igbo have become distant from the politics of the Igbo. So, what do we do? Do we allow ourselves to continue to drift? To end this, we have to tell ourselves some bitter truth. Unfortunately or fortunately, the challenge of insecurity is bringing us together. We are now surrounded by dangerous criminals who want to decimate us and take over Igboland. 

“We are facing the worst form of insecurity where we are divided.”

On the way out, he pointed out that among other things, the “Ohanaeze Ndigbo should penetrate the grassroots, set up their branches everywhere preach morality, teach our young people about culture and tradition and make life more meaningful in our land. And all the existing Igbo groups should dissolve into the Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.” null

We should meet regularly — Mbah

The Governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, in his speech said: “We have the commonality of everything. We have Igbo. What we should be talking about now is how we meet regularly with the security agencies to discuss insecurity challenges in our area.

“I think what we should do is set up a command and control centre. We should look at the non-kinetic approach in dealing with this insecurity.  Some of our youths are being deceived and we have to meet the community leaders and find a solution to this insecurity.”

On the issue of the economy, he said: “There is a need to have a common market that will be a centre that will grow the economy of the region and from there, we look at how to create a comparative advantage for the different states of the region.

“We now look at the key enablers which include road transportation. We also look at how we construct a ring road that connects the South-East region. At the end of this summit, we should employ the best of our brains to implement the ideas we have gathered here today.” 

We’ve to listen to plights of our youths — Otti

Also speaking at the event, the Abia State governor, Dr. Alex Otti, said there is need to end the issue of insecurity and grow the economy of the region.https://d-3392061805933301249.ampproject.net/2309151607000/nameframe.html

“For us to have a way forward, we must be willing to engage with our youths to know their problems. We must begin to know there is anger in the land. Another issue is to fight the issue of drug abuse and cut all the channels they use in supplying these drugs,” he added.

S-East must determine to move forward despite  challenges — Soludo

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State said that the South-East must have the self-belief to turn things around despite insecurity and other challenges facing the zone.

Soludo said the region must make all efforts to thrive despite insecurity, insisting that the zone is far from being the most insecure place in the world.

His words: “I have heard the speeches given, books of lamentations. It is very good to lament but I would rather like to see a glass as half-full than half-empty. The South-East is ready for business; the South-East is ripe for business and we must all believe in our ability to turn things around  and get the South-East going again.

“That must be the outcome of this particular summit. We can lament about insecurity and so on; this is not the most insecure place in the world, other places are thriving despite their insecurity.https://d-3392061805933301249.ampproject.net/2309151607000/nameframe.html

“When I arrived in Anambra, eight local governments were totally under siege by these hoodlums. They are all gone, we are settling into business. They would not deter us, Anambra, the South-East all of us, we must be determined to move our place forward despite the challenges.” 

Soludo charged South-East indigenes not to wait for all the problems to be solved by the governors before they can come to invest in the zone, adding that if they don’t stop seeing only gloom and doom “this place will be a desolate homeland.”

According to Soludo, the South-East renaissance should not stop at self-belief, the region should also partner with the rest of the country, the diaspora, and the international community.

“We need not just ourselves, we need Nigeria. Ndigbo need Nigeria and Nigeria needs Ndigbo. Ndigbo need Africa and the world and the World and Africa need Ndigbo. As an itinerant people, we cannot be an intolerant people.

“We need the partnership of everybody, partnership of the rest of the country, partnership of the diaspora, and partnership with the international community.”null

Dialogue with Biafra agitators — Anyim 

Former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, called for a rethink of the Biafra agitation and strategies to deal with insecurity in the South-East.

Anyim said that robust discussions with the agitators will generate lasting solutions to the insecurity plaguing the zone.

He warned that going by recent developments, the region risks losing economic and political relevance in the country, with drastic consequences already being felt by the people of the region after years of insecurity and agitation that have been used as a cover by criminal elements to thrive.

“Insecurity has worsened in the southeast with gunmen attacking residents every day. Yet, the circumstances that led to the civil war in 1967 appeared not to be the same thing as what the current agitators are doing.

“This is why the leaders should bring the agitators closer to understanding their yearnings.