The meeting comes less than 24 hours after the President, Major General Muhammdu Buhari (ret. ), promised stiffer military sanctions against secessionists during a press conference.
After several hours of discussion at the Enugu State Government House, representatives from the South-East expressed their concerns about a variety of issues affecting the region, including marginalization and attacks by herders. The delegation from the Federal Government was led by Major General Bashir Magashi, the Minister of Defense of the United States (ret.).
Mr. Magashi acknowledged that the housing situation should be tackled as a national issue, and he stated that the leadership of the South-East and the Federal Government would engage in a conversation on how to address the concerns of the zone's leaders.
He explained, "After explaining our objective for being here and after they had listened to us, we discussed the subject and came to the following agreement:
"That the governors of the South-East and South-West have a strong commitment to the unity and stability of this wonderful nation. The assurance and trust that this commitment will be conveyed to the Federal Government, and ultimately to the Commander-in-Chief, is provided to them.
"Some of the issues highlighted include the instability and criminality that has affected the country as a whole. And we were delighted to talk about the ones that are unique to this section of the country, which we did. We have come to the conclusion that there are certain fundamental concerns that must be addressed. In order to keep it short and sweet, I'll just highlight one or two points. One is that the herders' struggle should be viewed from the perspective of the national interest, which should be accorded the required attention in order to put an end to this threat throughout the country.
In the second session, we examined the issue of marginalization, which I believe was broadly acknowledged. Nonetheless, after we have met with Mr. President to review the issues and after the governors have articulated their perspectives, we will be able to hold additional discussions on the subject.
“We have also discussed community policing, which is now being used by state governments in Nigeria, and we believe that community policing by the governors of the South-East should be promoted since we have already established precedent in Amotekun in the Western part of the country.”
The Chairman of the South-East Governors' Forum, Chief David Umahi, expressed gratitude on behalf of the region's leaders, calling the delegation's visit as "a new dawn for the country."
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