The presidency has clarified that the absence of 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 Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said in a statement on Wednesday that government has already expressed its regret for the inconvenience its absence caused to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.
According to the presidential spokesperson, “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.”
” 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.
Shehu assured that the President was 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.