19 June 2011
South-South Governors And Regional Integration
The historic South South Governors Council meeting under the acronym BRACED (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday June 14, 2011 to discuss and take positions on issues of common concern to the zone, is a welcome initiative.
We commend this courageous step taken by chief executives of the region that provides about 90 per cent of the national income which, ironically, has long been degraded and neglected in the 53 years of exploration and exploitation of crude oil in Nigeria. Expectedly, there are fears that the idea is an expediency that may be short-lived given the fate of a similar initiative in 2001 by the South South Governors in office at the time and leading politicians in Asaba, the Delta State capital. Nevertheless we urge the present Governors in the region to see this laudable effort as an idea whose time has come. It is interesting to note that the chief executives of state governments in the northern part of the country have met regularly since the 1970s to manage the assets of the former Northern Region and to take common positions on national issues, even under military regimes.