By Emmanuel Acha
Governors of the five Eastern states met on Sunday and resolved to bury their differences and work for the economic integration and welfare of people.
The new Chairman of the forum, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, said at the end of the meeting in Enugu that the move was in the interest of the people.
He said the meeting, which was the first of its kind since the 2015 general elections, discussed important issues concerning the region.
“One of such is security integration. We have agreed to compare notes to talk with our commissioners of police and other security agencies to do our security integration.
“This is to have a common ground on the fight against kidnapping, robbery and other vices in our various states.
“We have realised that sometimes when a kidnap happens in Ebonyi State, for instance, they will be taken to another state of South-East,” he said.
According to him, security integration will be a better and sure way to secure the lives and property of the people.
Umahi said that they agreed to put in place a peer review mechanism and proper economic integration in order to support the economic aspect of the people in the region.
He said that each of the governors would direct their commissioner in-charge of economic planning to come up with a blueprint for proper economic integration of the zone.
“We will come together, discuss and compare notes with the aid of consultants and come up with blueprints on how we can have proper economic integration of South-East.
“We have a lot of abundant wealth we can harness to better the lots of our people. It is for the interest of our people that we work together,” he said.
Umahi said that the forum was in support of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo under the leadership of Chief Nnia Nwodo, and urged the people to accord them maximum support.
“We advise our people to give them all the support necessary to excel so that they will continue to be a voice for cultural integration and welfare of our people,” Umahi said. (NAN)