Despite The Presidency’s Refusal To Apologise, S-South Leaders Meet FG Delegation
One week after it vowed not to meet with a Federal Government delegation unless the Presidency apologised for cancelling a previous meeting at the last minute, South-South leaders are set to meet with the delegation on Tuesday.
The meeting is expected to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Punch reports that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, is on his way to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where the meeting is expected to hold at the government house.
Zolexreporters had reported an angry outburst from governors of the region who demanded an “unreserved public apology” from the Presidency before agreeing to convene a fresh meeting with its delegation to the region.
Governors, traditional rulers and religious leaders from the region were all seated for the meeting when Gambari called to inform them of the cancellation.
“We deserve as a region unreserved public apology to the region, particularly to our traditional rulers and the leaders in this zone, which include our Christian leaders, opinion leaders, our women and our youths, and also the governors of the zone who were voted into office and that is the least that we expect for us to accept the reconvene of this meeting,” Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, had said on behalf of the South-South leaders.
But responding last week Wednesday, the Presidency explained why the meeting was called off, but refused to apologise as requested by the region’s leaders.
Presidential aide, Garba Shehu, had said the cancellation was, “…necessitated by an emergency security meeting summoned by the President, certainly not out of disrespect,” adding that the federal government delegation was, “in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting.”
Shehu added that, “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