AS the Delta State capital of Asaba hosts eminent persons from within and outside the country for today’s second edition of the South South Economic Forum, the police have declared their preparedness to provide adequate security during the three-day event.
Besides, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the governments of the region to strengthen their regional integration with a focus on infrastructural development, transportation and policy change for human capital development.
A statement by the Executive Director of the group, Rev. David Ugolor, yesterday urged the governors of the region to harness “the potential and avalanche of opportunities offered by the summit to transform the region into an economic nerve centre of the country that God has appropriately endowed it with.”
The statement also commended the governors of the region on their call on the Federal Government to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which he said would fast-track reforms in the oil and gas sector.
Already, several hundreds of policemen and their armoured personnel carriers have been deployed in strategic locations in Asaba.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ayo Ikechukwu Aduba, told reporters yesterday in Asaba that policemen from the neighouring Edo, Anambra and Bayelsa states were already in Delta.
The summit, which is scheduled to be opened today by President Goodluck Jonathan, will also be graced by the President of Rwanda, Mr. Paul Kagame, who will present the keynote address.
It will also attract other international speakers, including Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the United States’ Joint Chiefs of Staff; former New York Mayor, Ruddy Giuliani, John Lipsky and Graciana del Castillo.
Aduba said that prominent Nigerians, including the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Senate President, David Mark; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke; the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi are also expected as speakers at the summit with the theme “Development, Infrastructure and Security.”
Aduba said: “It is a world class event. Water-tight security is assured. We have received reinforcement from Anambra, Edo and Bayelsa states. They are now on ground to complement ours.”
The commissioner reiterated that indiscipline would not be tolerated from erring policemen and vowed to deal ruthlessly with any group or individuals who caused crisis.
For security reasons, he noted that some major roads in Asaba would be closed, adding that with the assistance of the state’s immigration service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), he was confident of a successful world-class summit.