WELCOME ADDRESS BY GOVERNOR ROCHAS OKOROCHA AT THE MEETING OF THE SOUTH-SOUTH/SOUTH-EAST GOVERNORS’ FORUM, ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 8, 2017 AT THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE OWERRI
My brother governors, from South-South and South-East geo-Political Zones I welcome you to Imo State. May I, on behalf of the government and good People of Imo State, most sincerely welcome you to this all-important meeting.
Permit me to welcome in a Special way, the Chairman of the Forum, my brother and indeed, the performing governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Udom Emmanuel. I thank the Almighty God for granting all of you his journey mercy.
My brothers, we all know why we are here. We are here for the good of the South-East and South-South geo-Political Zones and their People. We are here for the common good of our their nation, Nigeria and her teeming population. We are here for the good of all.
Again as we are meeting here in Owerri, the rest of Nigerians and the rest of the world are waiting to hear what will be the outcome of this august meeting. And I want to say that we won’t disappoint such people. With God on our side, we shall come up at the end of the exercise with opinions and ideas that will, to a large extent, help our States individually and Collectively and also help our nation greatly.
In the notice for this meeting, the Chairman, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel said “this meeting will provide an avenue for deliberation on various issues of regional and national importance with a view to enhancing collaboration on matters of common interest to the overall benefit of the Citizens and residents of the States in these regions”.
In otherwords, we are here to talk about peace, development, Unity, understanding, progress, cooperation, and so on, as they concern the participating regions and of course, the nation.
Even on the face value of this meeting, seeing governors from the South-East and South-South sitting together to deliberate on the way forward is enough to excite all men and women of goodwill. In other words, we have come to realize that there is time for Party Politics and there is time to talk about development or those things that unite us. It also means that we have also resolved to break the jinx of disunity caused by Politics because what Unites us is far more than the Political Parties or Politics that divide us. We shall know the Points to speak as members of Political Parties and time to speak as a people.
My brother governors, you are once again welcome. This is the best time for us to think outside the box. This is the time for us to also encourage our youths and give them hope. We must Consolidate on the Unity of the States involved and that of the nation at large. And if you ask me, I would request that the Constitution be amended to create a provision that would make governors go to States other than theirs to serve for three months. By so doing, we would further be strengthening our Unity.
And on a lighter mood, when that happens while I would like to be sent to Rivers State or Lagos State for the three months as governor. Governor Wike will be posted to Kebbi, and Ambode to Imo and so on.
Finally, I know that one day, in the Course of the history of this nation, Nigerians will rise to such a height that the Igbos, Ijaws, Efiks, Hausas, Fulanis, Itshekiris, Ndomas, and all, will be talking as one people, and the issue of where one comes from, won’t be a serious issue again. May God help us.