- A presidential delegation didn't show up for a meeting in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, November 17
- The meeting was convened at the instance of the presidency
- Leaders of the south-south see the action as an act of disrespect and have now demanded for an apology
Leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone have demanded a public apology from the federal government over botched stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt, the River state capital on Tuesday, November 17.
The presidential delegation which convened the meeting had cancelled it while stakeholders comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders, opinion leaders, youths, and women from the zone were already seated at the venue of the meeting.
Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum and Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, informed the stakeholders that the presidency gave an emergency security meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari as a reason for the cancellation.
Irked by the information, the stakeholders expressed displeasure with the development, describing it as disrespect to the people of the region and called for an immediate public apology from the presidency.
They said that the action of the federal government amounted to treating the South-South and its people with disdain, and warned on the consequences of undermining the zone.
But in a solemn appeal to douse tension, Governor Okowa implored the people to remain calm in the face of the disrespect and embarrassment caused by the cancellation of the meeting.
On social media, most south-south people have been commenting on the incident.
Iykay Njoku wrote on Facebook:
“They know the motive of the meeting. They know you want to ask them why Zamfara is mining their gold but oil in Rivers state and Bayelsa belongs to Jigawa.”
Ubong Enenyi wrote:
“This is totally preposterous and unacceptable. They should tender a due apology and proceed for penance.”
Godmade Osiah wrote:
“This is an affront on the south-south. Very derogatory. The presidency is ably represented in most marriage ceremonies but will ridicule an entire region.”
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