Southeast Governors: Time to Wake Up

Aug 26, 2016

Southeast governors need to take the zone out of the doldrums

To say that the fate of the southeast geo-political zone in the present rulership of President Muhammadu Buhari is unpleasant is to state the obvious. After years of crying out against the marginalization of the zone by successive federal governments, what is playing out now has made child's play of the collective experience of Ndigbo in the past.
From lopsided appointments that have been skewed against the southeast to the seeming conspiracy of silence in the face of the murderous attacks on Igbo people within and outside their zone, the southeast has not had it so bad.
Roads in the southeast have remained in deplorable conditions despite strident calls from the people of the area for remedial action. Federal government's presence in the southeast is near zero and for all it cares, the southeast is merely a geographical expression.
Recently, a portion of the overhead bridge in the Ijora Causeway in Lagos was damaged. The Lagos State government cried out and quickly, the minister of works, Babatunde Fashola, who is the immediate past governor of the state, rallied round and repaired the damaged portion in a record time of less than two weeks. It is possible that had it been here, it would have taken months of pleading for action to be taken.
When things like these happen, it is expected that discerning people will learn and when such people are those who feel marginalised, it needs no telling that they have to take their destiny in their hands. Has the southeast taken its destiny in its hands? The answer is obviously no.
Before now, hope had risen for the southeast zone when the governors under the aegis of Southeast Governors' Forum seemed very active and ready to chart a course for the zone. They met regularly and spoke with one voice. For the first time, it looked as if the zone would finally come out of the doldrums. But that hope was cut short after some of the governors then exhausted their tenures.
Now, the zone is saddled with governors who have elected to pursue their different individual agendas rather than the collective good of the zone. This inclination obviously suits those marginalizing the zone as it is easy to oppress a people who are not united.
This is why we have deemed it fit to urge the southeast governors to wake from their slumber and fight for the interests of the zone, with a view to making it the economic hub of the country. The southeast has to be made conducive for her people who have been developing other areas of the country without sparing a thought for theirs.
That is the only way to encourage those who have invested elsewhere to return home and help develop here. This is indeed the second time we are making this call and it is because of the alarming signals emitting from country's leadership.
The governors of the southeast owe us the duty of steering the zone to the path of economic stability. It is the only way our people can stave off the negative impact of their ill-treatment by the rest of the country.



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