Rising from a meeting at the Government House, Enugu, the Southeast Governors Forum and political leaders of the zone on Sunday agreed to set up a committee to parley with pro-Biafran activists and the Federal Government over the ongoing agitation for Biafra.
A communique issued after the meeting, which also featured the presence of National Assembly members and elder statesmen from the zone, said the proposed committee would dialogue with the two major pro-Biafran groups, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The communique, which was read by the by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, after several hours of meeting, said the elders after a compassionate review of the recent MASSOB/IPOB agitation in the country, resolved that a committee be set up to dialogue with MASSOB/IPOB as well as with the Federal Government with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue.
Also, it was decided, said Okorocha, that a delegation of South-East Elders be sent to meet President Muhammadu Buhari over the marginalisation of the zone, as well as other outstanding socio-economic issues that hinder development in the region.
A four-point communique read by Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha, at the end of the meeting that lasted for several hours read:
“We agreed that south-east governors should set up a committee to immediately address the impasse on Ohanaeze leadership. After a compassionate review of the recent MASSOB/IPOB agitations in the country, it was resolved that a committee be set up to dialogue with MASSOB,IPOB as well as the Federal Government with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue.
“The elders also examined other issues including poor state of infrastructural facilities in the south-east, marginalization in federal appointments and other socio-economic issues that impact on the economic development of the south-east and resolved to support the decision of south-east governors to set up an economic council and urged them to interface with the Federal Government on remedial measures. A delegation of elders of the south-east was mandated to meet with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In attendance were four Southeast governors, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Dave Umuahi (Ebonyi), and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State. Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State was represented by the deputy governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke.
Also present were the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former governor, Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Information, Chief Nnaia Nwodo and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara among others.