Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, have resolved to engender regional security and economic integration towards fostering enduring peace and unity between the two states and in the Niger Delta region. The two governors also agreed to support and mobilise their states for the restructuring of Nigeria.
A press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dickson, Francis Agbo, noted that both leaders spoke on Saturday when Governor Dickson played host to the Edo State governor in Government House, Yenagoa.
According to Governor Dickson, the report of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on restructuring is a pointer to the fact that all Nigerians regardless of political and ethno-religious backgrounds have adopted a common position on restructuring as a necessity.
His words: “The Governor of Edo State and I discussed a whole range of issues bordering on regional security and economic integration. Issues of peace and security is a necessary condition for development and building bridges of unity. We agreed that we need to do that more often and provide a conducive environment for investments to thrive.
“The report of the APC on restructuring shows that all Nigerians irrespective of political and religious differences are convinced about the need to restructure and they have seen that restructuring has become a necessity”.
While commending Governor Obaseki for his developmental efforts, Dickson said both states would work together towards ensuring peace and stability.
Describing Governor Obaseki as a good friend and brother, Governor Dickson expressed optimism that the historic visit would herald a series of subsequent meetings to rub minds and promote mutual interests for the benefit of both states. Dickson also called on the Ijaw communities in Edo State to be law-abiding and live peacefully with their neighbours, assuring that their concerns and fears will be addressed by Governor Obaseki. He promised to, in no distant future, visit Obaseki and the Ijaw communities in Edo State.
Governor Obaseki said the purpose of the visit was to dialogue with his Bayelsa counterpart on issues of security and strengthen bilateral economic relations.
As Chairman of the South/South Governors’ Forum, he said Governor Dickson has a crucial role to play in the enthronement of peace and stability in the region and the country.
Governor Obaseki said he would work with other stakeholders to take measures towards the resuscitation of the BRACED Commission. He said revitalising BRACED Commission would harness the economic opportunities in the South South region.
“I am here today to discuss with our Chairman of the South South Governors Forum on regional cooperation and other issues affecting our region particularly economic, social and security matters.
“I have gotten assurances from him that we will continue to work closely as states within the region despite our political differences, and that in the next coming months we will undertake measures to further strengthen regional cooperation.
“You know we have the BRACED Commission and we haven’t done too much with it. Working with him closely now we are going to ensure that we resuscitate the commission and look for common understanding.
“As regards the issue of the Edo Ijaw, we have invited His Excellency to visit and to further enunciate the decisions we have taken today and to make all of them (the Ijaw), feel included in Edo State and be part of the economic growth, which we envisage will occur in the next few years.”