By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
A meeting of South-South leaders scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was stalled following the absence of the federal government delegation to the meeting.
South-South leaders, including governors, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and youth leaders, had arrived Port Harcourt last Monday for the meeting, which was scheduled at the instance of the Presidency.
LEADERSHIP gathered that members of the federal government delegation, including Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Security and eight federal ministers, failed to show up at the Main Banquet Hall, Government House, Port Harcourt, venue of the meeting.
It was gathered that after waiting for several hours without the presence of the federal government delegation, Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum and Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, apologized to the South-South leaders for keeping them waiting.
Although journalists who were not accredited to cover Government House, Port Harcourt were not allowed into the venue of the meeting, an aide to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Social Media, Marshall Obuzor, disclosed that the South-South leaders demanded for unreserved apology as precondition for reconvening of the meeting.
Obuzor said: “There was palpable anger at the banquet hall of the Rivers State Government House as a meeting called at the instance of the Presidency with the Governors, Traditional rulers, opinion leaders and youths of the South South was botched by the absence of the Presidential team.
“Representatives of traditional rulers, leaders from the six south south states and all the Governors in the region who arrived Porth Harcourt on Monday the 16th for the meeting which was originally scheduled to commence by 11am on Tuesday became infuriated when they were told by 3pm that the delegation from the Presidency which was to be led by the the Chief of Staff to the President would no longer be avialable.
“The waiting South South delegation were informed that the delegation from the Presidency which was to also include the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Security and eight Federal Ministers requested for the meeting to be rescheduled.
“Although Governors of the South South led by the Governor of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa apologised to the people for the bothched meeting and keeping them in Port Harcourt for two days, the Traditional rulers, youths and women maintained that the cancellation was an insult on the people of the region which would not be taken lightly.
“They called for an unreserved public apology to be rendered to the leaders and people of the region as a precondition for any consideration for a reconvening of a meeting with the people of the South South.”
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