The Presidency has explained that the absence of the federal government delegation at the planned meeting with governors and stakeholders of the South-South region was caused by an emergency security meeting summoned by the President.
It added that the abortion of the meeting was “certainly not out of disrespect.”
OPTIMUM TIMES recalls that the meeting was suddenly aborted at the last minutes after all the dignitaries of the South-South region including state governors and traditional rulers had gathered waiting for the arrival of the Federal Government delegation.
Following the disappointment arising from the abortion of the meeting, the South South geopolitical zone had demanded an apology from the Presidency.
But the Presidency said in a statement by the Garba Shehu, presidential aide on Media and Publicity that the delegation to the meeting, under the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, ministers and heads of security and intelligence agencies were in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting.
A recording to him, “This information and regret for the inconvenience caused were conveyed to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.
“As may have been gleaned from the statement read by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, the extraordinary National Security Council meeting, under the President, was called in view of the gravity of the security situation affecting all parts of the country, including the South-South in the aftermath of the ENDSARS protests, and the need to rise to protect our national security and territorial integrity.
“The President is strongly and resolutely committed to hearing from leaders, stakeholders and our youth on burning issues affecting all parts of the federation, and to this effect, a new date for the meeting with the South-South will be agreed after due consultations with the parties concerned.
“Once again, the unavoidable postponement of the meeting is regretted.”