Presidency Explains Absence From South-South Stakeholders Meeting

Presidency Explains Absence From South-South Stakeholders Meeting





The Presidency has expressed regret over the absence of its representatives at a meeting of South-South governors and stakeholders scheduled for Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

While attributing the development to an emergency security meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on the same day, it said a new date for the meeting would be fixed after dues consultations.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday titled “South-South assembly disrupted by emergency security meeting -Presidency.”

Recall that governors and leaders of the South-South region had demanded an unreserved apology from the Presidency for abruptly aborting the meeting.

The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to explain that the absence of the Federal Government delegation at the planned meeting with governors and stakeholders of the South-South region was necessitated by an emergency security meeting summoned by the President, certainly not out of disrespect.

“The delegation to the meeting, under the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof 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.

“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 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.

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“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.”