GODWIN EGBA in P/Harcourt units the agenda for the incoming governors of the South-South states, to embrace the financial integration first solid by former governors of the area in 2009, to engender frequent prosperity within the Niger Delta.
The South-South governors, amongst their counterparts within the different geopolitical zones, based on the timelines and schedules of actions by the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) have concluded their governorship primaries of their completely different political events forward of the 2023 basic elections.
The profitable candidates as governorship hopefuls are believed to be locked of their political laboratories with their groups engaged on their manifestoes to be reeled out to Nigerians when the campaigns are anticipated to kick off subsequent month.
Expectedly, the governorship candidates within the South-South area are additionally grappling with the duty of constructing the blueprints they might current to the citizens with a view to successful the votes.
The expectation of their citizens is for them to construct a working relationship amongst themselves that may transcend political leanings and affiliations after the battle of electioneering.
Unequivocally, the South-South additionally known as Niger Delta has peculiar developmental challenges and extra so, falling into the class of minority states within the lopsided federal construction, an alliance of the states to type a formidable socio-economic pressure is a desideratum.
Some political analysts in Port-Harcourt Rivers state mentioned that this alliance if in place and backed up with the benefit of the large sources inherent within the area has the potential to reverse the cockeyed minority standing to having an intimidating voice within the socio-economic and political equation within the polity.
This synergy among the many South- South states was dreamt many years in the past and birthed, however died a pure demise.
Within the yr 2009, the then six governors within the area, Chief Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state beneath the aegis of the South- South Governors Discussion board broke the ice and embraced financial integration of the area to engender frequent prosperity.
This group of leaders gave delivery to an acronym, BRACED states, derived from the primary letter of every state, B from Bayelsa, R from Rivers, A from Akwa Ibom, C from Cross River, E from Edo and D from Delta- B-R-A-C-E-D.
From this, they went additional to arrange the BRACED Fee to drive built-in improvement of the whole area. To strengthen the fee, Rotimi Amaechi donated and furnished an imposing secretariat constructing in Port-Harcourt to operate.
The governors took their resolve for financial prosperity of the area additional and organised the primary South-South Financial Summit which drew members throughout the globe.
The three day summit held on the prestigious Tinapa Enterprise Resort in Calabar, Cross River state from April 22 to 25, 2009 assuredly opened a vista of hope for socio-economic renaissance of the area.
The summit was declared open by late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and in addition attended by then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Egg heads from the academia, enterprise moguls, diplomats and consultants in varied fields of human endeavour delivered incisive papers on the summit.
The six governors selling the summit additionally took turns to current papers the place they highlighted the financial potentials of their varied states, inviting the world to return discover and harness the sources.
Then chairman of the South-South Governor’s Discussion board, Senator Liyel Imoke, had set the tone for the summit in his welcome tackle.
He mentioned, “It could be recalled that on the varied conferences of the South-South Governor’s Discussion board, my colleagues and I thought-about it mandatory for us to collectively pursue regional financial integration and work extra carefully with each other to strengthen our economies by exploring alternatives for development.
“This new strategy is crucial if we should collectively obtain our imaginative and prescient and aspirations, not just for the South-South Zone but in addition our particular person states.
Imoke continued, “We’re additionally conscious that we have now up until now, not been in a position to optimize our potentials almost about the power which our partnering with each other is able to evincing. We’ve got a multi trillion naira financial system that if properly harnessed will create wealth for our folks and rework them.
“But, as it’s typically mentioned, higher power lies in unity and a commonness of objective, notably as we will obtain much more by exploring our varied areas of comparative benefit for our frequent good. This, my colleagues and I are dedicated to. We’ve got the political will. We’re dedicated and we’re united”
It’s attention-grabbing to notice that on the finish of the summit, the organisers got here up with a compendium of the key papers introduced on the summit and the street map to realising all of the topical points raised in a e book aptly entitled “Braced for World Competitiveness”.
All that was wanted thereafter was motion to rework the area into an enviable spectacle as envisaged. Regrettably, the noble concept inexplicably died shortly after and couldn’t even outlive the tenure of the six governors.
Some commentators have attributed the untimely demise of the BRACED concept to political variations among the many governors, however then it was solely Adams Oshiomhole that was in ACN then.
The opposite 5 governors had been all in PDP. The query on the lips of analysts is “what rivalry might there have been arisen that no ahead of they introduced themselves to the world as individuals who had been critical and having “political will”, “dedicated” and “united” as espoused by Imoke to pursue an built-in financial agenda, than they relapsed to inactivity?
Observers have famous “that was one momentous alternative to recalibrate the totality of the Niger Delta panorama that was thrown into the abyss.”
In addition they noticed that “the present chief executives within the varied states haven’t even been seen or heard point out something associated to the BRACED Fee. Every one among them is a one man riot squad in his personal ‘fiefdom’.”
The consensus is that if the states had remained ‘BRACED’ until now, one might think about the mileage that the area would have achieved since 2009 with the NDDC and Niger Delta ministry enjoying complementary roles within the built-in improvement agenda.
A stakeholder and pioneer workers of of the Fee who wouldn’t need his title in print famous, “Once more if the states had remained ‘BRACED’ it’s potential that they may have invested in improvement of modular refineries and even purchase main stakes within the property the divesting IOCs are abandoning.
“If that they had remained ‘BRACED’, it’s potential that they might have pressured extra vigorously to get one thing greater than the paltry 3 % allotted to the oil producing states within the Petroleum Trade Act, (PIA) and even obtain outright useful resource management with the pressure they might carry.
“In the identical breathe, might anybody have imagined to insult the sensibilities of the folks with the nonsensical Water Assets invoice within the Nationwide Meeting in the event that they had been certain by sturdy socio-economic ties?
“Even within the face of insecurity ravaging most elements of the nation, the BRACED states wouldn’t have been among the many knee jerked states fearing any onslaught by bandits or some invaders as such threats would have been supplied for within the built-in safety grasp plan.”
The ‘BRACED’ idea represented an omnibus panacea to many socio-economic maladies afflicting the South-South states. It was properly thought out and the visioners scored a bull’s eye with the thought.
Some stakeholders maintain the view that “those that would mount the saddle as governors in 2023 within the area ought to mud the report of the Tinapa summit, undertake and run with it in keeping with present realities. It’s nonetheless our Niger Delta, the land of nice promise.”