by crossriverwatch admin
Leaders of Southern Nigeria comprising the south-south, south east and south west met on Monday in Calabar the Cross River State capital and resolved to speak with one voice at the National Conference coming up in March 2014.
The leaders in their various remarks at the summit convened by Governors Olusegun Mimiko, Peter Obi of Anambra State and Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River State spoke in unison on the need for Southern unity and cooperation for national development.
Declaring the summit with theme ‘The centenary and the imperative of a national conference” open, Chief Olu Falae, who served as the Chairman of the summit stated that “this summit is a continuation of wide-spread consultations with stakeholders on how to move Nigeria and Southern Nigeria forward as we prepare for the national conference.
“This is the first time Nigerians are busy consulting across regions with a view to forging a common front and I think we should give President Jonathan kudos for his sincerity and focus on a new Nigeria; we should give him total support.
On expectations of the conference, he said “I expect emergence of a Southern Nigeria with equal opportunity and citizenship.”
In his message Chief Tony Anenih, said “we must unite and give massive support to President Jonathan to enable him face the global economic challenges and combat the Boko Haram insurgents.
“The Presidency has performed and we should rally round him to assist him to strengthen the fabric of our nationhood. I give him kudos for his sagacity to give Nigerians platform to discuss our federation and find solutions,” said the PDP board of trustee chairman.
Dr Alex Ekweme, former vice president said “Now is the time for unity amongst the three zones of South-West, South-East and South-South. If there is unity amongst the zones, then there will be unity of Nigeria as a whole.”
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Afenifere chieftain in his good will message said “We are happy that the Southerners are coming together after one hundred years of existence as a nation. We should embrace the conference and not allow the mistake made by late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo by not taking over government then.”
Paying tribute to our past heroes, the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, said “I salute our past leaders for fighting for independence. For us now, we should continue from where they stopped by forging a strong and united Southern Nigeria.
“North has always spoken with one voice in the past one hundred years. We should have a strong belief in forming one Southern block. The love of Southern Nigeria must be re-ignited in this conference.”
Earlier in his opening speech, the chief host, Governor Liyel Imoke, said “it is important for us to come out with historic decisions. We must deliberate on issues of national importance and come out with a clear cut agenda for the Southern people.”
The summit described as historic was attended by prominent Southern personalities, members of the national and state assemblies, politicians, traditional rulers, youth groups and religious leaders including Governors Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Seriake Dickson of Bayesla, Senate Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba and Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives.
Others in attendance included Chief Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra, Chief Gbenga Daniel former governor of Ogun State, Idongesit Nkanga, Abiye Sekibo, Chief Edmund Dakoru Olaitan Ajayi and several others.
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