South-south states reveal plan for regional security outfit

South-south states reveal plan for regional security outfit

Thursday, March 5, 2020 9:51 pm

L-R: Governors of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; River State, Nyesom Wike; Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; Akwa-Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom; and Bayelsa State, Sen. Duoye Diri

By Jethro lbileke

Governors of the South-south region, under the aegis of the BRACED Commission, have set in motion machinery that would see to the establishment of a regional security outfit.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this Thursday after a closed-door meeting with the Governors in Asaba, Delta state capital.

He said the decision was necessary to tackle security challenges and other issues in the region.

Other Governors in attendance at the meeting include the Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Duoye Diri; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom.

The Governors also synergized on preparedness to tackle Corina Virus, Lassa Fever and other infectious diseases.

Speaking after the meeting, Governor Obaseki noted that the outfit will further complement the efforts of security agencies, adding that the security of lives and property of the people must not be left to the police alone.

He said over 2500 persons drawn from the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Edo State have been recruited into the Public Safety Works and Volunteers (PUWOV) scheme, as part of efforts to combat crime and ensure peace and safety.

According to him, the PUWOV scheme has been integrated into the wider security architecture to serve a more robust purpose of intelligence gathering to complement the effort of the police and other security agencies in the state.

On his part, Governor Okowa, said, “We have agreed to have a regional security outfit and mandated the BRACED Commission to come out with details on how to go about it and brief us at our next meeting that will hold in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.”

Okies further disclosed that the Governors also agreed on getting the 13 per cent derivation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), given to the oil producing States before the rest is shared.

“We also took a decision on FAAC allocation and the need to stress very importantly that in every allocation that is being done, the 13 per cent derivation must first be taken out of the fund that comes out of the oil economy before the rest is shared,” Okies said.

He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute the Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) because it has a major role to play in the development of the region.

“We also discussed our collective response to the Corona Virus and Lassa Fever outbreaks, instructing the Commissioners of health of the six South-South states to meet and take steps on how to control the two epidemics. We do not want Corona Virus to extend to this region,” Okowa said.

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