By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—EXCEPT for any last minute change, governors of the South-South geopolitical zone under the aegis of South-South Governors Forum, SSGF, are expected to converge on Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, aka Jerusalem of Ijaw Nation, weekend, after years of apathy, to re-unite and jaw-jaw on common issues of development.
Though details of the parley are yet to be disclosed, a top government source told NDV that the BRACED Commission, the regional institution set up in 2011 to impel the process of cooperation and integration among the South- South states, but which was standing on its last legs, will receive a kiss of life from the governors. BRACED is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Rivers states.
Dickson picks up the gauntlet: NDV learned that following our exclusive reports on the anger of citizens of the region over the neglect of BRACED Commission and SSGF by the governors, and call on them to resume regional meetings like their counterparts in other parts of the country, some of the governors, called on their oldest-serving colleague, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa to lead the way.
One of the governors constantly on the neck of Dickson, NDV gathered was Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom state. Other governors also called and gave him their blessings to go ahead and summon a meeting. Besides, South-South leader and convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, spoke on phone to Governors Dickson and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state on the need for the governors to pick up from where they left off the BRACED Commission and their Forum.
Okowa’s earlier confirmation: Governor Okowa recently confirmed at Asaba that the governors would meet soon, but did not mention date. Our dependable source, however, said: “Governor Seriake Dickson as the oldest serving governor in the zone is convening the parley, which is aimed at fostering unity and integration among the states. Since the other zones are all working towards integration, it is also in the interest of the South-South states to come together and chart a common front.”
Likely February 26: According to the source, the meeting, slated for weekend, February 26, would hold at the new iconic edifice housing the offices of the Bayelsa Governor and Deputy Governor.NDV gathered that aside deliberating and taking decisions bordering on the development of the zone, the Yenagoa meeting will enable Governor Dickson to showcase to his colleagues his developmental strides in the last five years.