Don’t Follow Footsteps Of Your Predecessors — South-East Clerics Tell Incoming Governors

Stakeholders in the southeast have urged the newly elected governors of the zone not to follow the footsteps of their predecessors who allegedly did nothing to the region.

According to Methodist Archbishop of Okigwe Archdiocese, Most Rev. Livinus Biereonwe Onuagha; Archbishop Opoko, South East Development Agenda, SEDA, amongst others, urged the incoming South East Governors to unite and work together for the development of the region.

He urged them not to emulate the line of the outgoing governors who he said never saw reasons to work together and collectively develop the region.

According to the Methodist Archbishop of Okigwe Archdiocese, Most Rev. Livinus Biereonwe Onuagha, “We should be looking inward now that our people’s lives and their businesses are being threatened outside the South East. Remember that when Eastern and Western Germany were in existence, the Western Germans went back to their house and developed themselves through technology.

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We have everything it takes to develop our technology to any height. So, I think that the South East Governors should work with our businessmen and women to help in the industrial development of the region.

“One of the things they should do is to ensure that rail lines go through all the states in the South East because when there is a good transportation system, it will ease  business transactions. Thank God that the Federal Government has passed a law empowering states to build their railways. If we work collectively in South East, we can build our rail lines to connect the states of Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, and Ebonyi.

“So, if there is a rail line between Enugu and Onitsha, Onitsha and Owerri, Owerri to Aba and Aba to Afikpo, Afikpo to Enugu, you have connected the whole South East region with a railway. This will ensure the free movement of people and goods and development will come faster. If our people building industries in the other parts of the country and the Diaspora are encouraged to come home and invest, there will not be any need for our people to go and stay where their lives are threatened on daily basis. We  can come home and build what we are building outside South East to develop our place and be the envy of others; that will give us a breakthrough.

“The outgoing South East Governors are a disaster to the people of the zone. They have nothing to be emulated from them, so the incoming Governors should work with sitting Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State who is already one year older to make a difference in developing and securing South East states”, the cleric said.

Adding his voice to the issue, the Chairman, of the Guild of Public Affairs Analysts of Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Ambrose Igbokwe, said the new governors should embrace regional economic integration.

“The South East used to have regional economic integration. It was this integration that made the region build the first indigenous University in Nigeria at Nsukka

The region also became the largest producer of palm oil  in Africa; had integrated agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing, and housing hubs in Onitsha, Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, even stretching to Port Harcourt in the present day Rivers State.

The Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Damian Okeke-Ogene feels that with the emergence of a new set of governors in the South East zone, there is hope for a new impetus in terms of development.

He, therefore, urged them to cooperate to achieve this. He called for a healthy development competition among the governors. Okeke-Ogene urged the new governors to realize that all eyes are on them to see what they will do given the poor performance of those they are trying to succeed.

In his contribution, the Methodist Bishop of Umuahia Diocese and former Secretary of Conference, Archbishop Chibuzor Opoko, advised the incoming Governors to be guided by the fact that they are Igbo first before being members of their respective political parties.

Opoko, therefore, tasked them to place Igbo interest above party affiliation and loyalty as usually displayed by their counterparts in the North and West. He noted that the enterprising and indomitable spirit of the Igbo is not being leveraged by South East Governors.

“The Igbo are known for their enterprising and indomitable spirit. They thrive wherever they are but unfortunately here on their home front, the crop of governors we have are not helping matters.

“They are not committed to the Igbo cause. If they show the kind of commitment some of them showed in the G-5 Governors fallout, South East would have achieved much. That they are in different political parties does not mean they should not develop their region. They should leverage the agenda of their various parties to develop the South East.“