BY Roland Danjuma
IN order to form a common front, Governors from the Southern part of Nigeria will on Monday converge in Lagos to deliberate on how to forge stronger ties for the three geo-political zones.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mr Tunji Bello, the meeting, which will be co-hosted by the Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Emmanuel Udom will address issues that are germane to the development of the three contiguous zones.
Bello said the meeting was in line with the realisation that the different states in the South have since 2005 developed several areas of comparative advantage which could be harnessed and become mutually beneficial.
According to him, the Governors would also be expected to adopt a common position on the issues of armed robbery, kidnapping, devolution of powers and fiscal federalism which have all gained prominence of late.
“The 2017 Lagos Summit of the 17 Southern Governors representing the South South, South West and South East zones is expected to come up with a communiqué after the deliberation.
“It is noteworthy to recall that the inaugural meeting of the Southern Governors took place in Lagos in 2001 under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Bello said.
The statement added that the predominance of views is that, if the Southern States speak with one voice, they are bound to attract weighty and credible listenership.
The Governors expected at the summit include Udom of Akwa Ibom, Ben Ayade (Cross River), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo).
Others are Willie Obiano (Anambra) Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), David Umahi (Ebonyi) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ayodele FaJPO:UN set to employ 37 young Nigerians