South-East governors reaffirm Ruga ban, to raise forest guards to tackle herdsmen, others

The South-East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) has reiterated its rejection of the controversial Ruga Settlement plan stating that no land in the region would be made available for the project.
The governors further disclosed that they would set up forest guards across the states as part of the mechanisms for tackling the security threat posed by the marauding herdsmen and other criminal elements in the zone.
They also resolved to set up a common security committee to handle the security challenges of the region.
They will also establish a centre for South East integrated security monitoring/intelligence gathering to be located in Enugu.
These formed the high points of a communiqué issued by the governors after their meeting at Enugu State Government House, yesterday.
Chairman of the forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, who presented their position to newsmen, indicated that the states would support their people interested in cattle rearing, piggery, rice farming and other agricultural ventures.
He disclosed that they would raise fund for agricultural development and, therefore, urged interested people from the zone to consult their respective state Governments.
He explained that the security committee will address the safety of fuel pipeline route to the Enugu depot to ensure that pumping of petroleum products in the depot resumed in the shortest possible time.
On the state of the Akanu Ibiam International airport, the forum lamented the deplorable condition of the facility particularly, the runway.
Even as the forum commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state for his government’s numerous interventions at the airport, they appealed to the Federal Government to consider their previous requests and reconstruct the runway for the sake of safety.
“Forum while calling on the Federal Government to take more meaningful action on the Enugu-Onitsha Road, Enugu-Port Harcourt Road, Okigwe-Owerri Road and Owerri-Umuahia Road, at the same time, we commend the Federal Government for the steady progress on the Second Niger Bridge project.
“The Forum noted that Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states have abundant oil and gas reserves which have not been fully explored. The Forum therefore, calls on the Federal Government to show more commitment and commence intensive exploration and development of oil and gas resources in these states of South East.”
The meeting, the first, since after the May 29, inauguration, was attended by Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and deputy governors of Anambra and Imo states, Dr. Nkem Okeke and Gerald Irona, respectively.

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