IBADAN, NOVEMBER 22, 2016 – Governors in the Southwest of Nigeria Monday resolved never to allow political differences to divide them anymore adding that the interest of the people and the region must not only come first before any other things but also guide the actions of the leaders of the region.
These were part of the resolutions adopted by the governors at the Governors’ Economic Forum held in Ibadan. The communiqué was signed by the secretary of the forum, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, the Director-General DAWN Commission.
In attendance were the governors of Ekiti, Mr. Ayodele Fayose; Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; with Ondo represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Rotimi Adelola, Director General, NISER, Professor Victor, Group Managing Director, Odua Investment Limited, Mr. Adewale Raji, and some very high level officials in the region.
At the forum, deliberations focused on developing and agreeing on a common and integrated front for reinforcing regional integration and economic development in Southwest Nigeria.
The focus was on re-establishing the need for strong and implementable decisions that would put the Southwest region back on the path of irreversible progress.
Their communiqué read: “That the interest of the Yoruba people should be in focus at all times, and all politics must be politics of development, that regional cooperation, synergy and economics of scale is important to move the region forward, that good intentions must be backed by sincerity of purpose, that the prosperity of any constituent part is negated if others are not, that political differences should no longer be a barrier to the economic development of the region while the welfare of the people should be foremost, and a regime of continuity, regularity and urgency of interaction is important among the leadership of the region”.
“The States should jointly embark on collaborative programmes in areas of common cooperation identified as needing immediate attention in the region including Security, Education, Transportation Infrastructure, including roads, rail and water transportation, Trade and Commerce linkages, Agriculture, and Sports, and that the DAWN Commission (the regional development agency for pursuing the regional integration agenda of the States of Western Nigeria, comprising Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo) should be vigorously strengthened to coordinate the regional development process.
They further agreed that all the state should work together within the framework of people-centric development, the present crop of governors must bequeath to the people a good legacy reflective of the visions of our founding fathers and common ancestors, that the current Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Senator Abiola Ajimobi should also serve as the Chairman of the Commission. DAWN Commission shall develop programmes and activities along the identified areas of cooperation and bring them up for cooperative implementation”.
Governor Fayose who spoke on behalf of the governors, explained that the meeting was being called to discuss several issues of common concern to the region in view of the challenging economic circumstances confronting the nation and its constituent parts.
According to him, the governors of the region have agreed to start playing politics of development, go beyond their political differences and put the people of the region and the region itself first in all things, adding that the Forum also agreed to use the collaborations to improve on the infrastructure, security, commerce and others areas in the interest of the region.
He said all the states have subscribed and agreed that regional integration is the best way forward for the region, for the people and for the Yoruba race.
“This meeting was called to discuss several issues of common concern to the region in view of the challenging economic circumstances confronting the nation and the people.
”We, the governors have agreed on a number of things in the interest of our people and the south west region as a whole.
”We have agreed to start playing politics of development by going beyond our political differences and putting the people of the region and the region first in all things.
”We also agreed to use this collaboration to improve on the infrastructure, security, commerce and beyond in the interest of the region. All the states of the region have agreed and subscribed that regional integration is the best way forward for the region; forward for the people and forward for the Yoruba race”.
Responding to questions from reporters, Governor Ambode emphasised that the governors agreed to put the interest of the people and the region first irrespective of the individual political interests of the governors, saying, “We have declared here that irrespective of our political differences, our people must come first. Overall, we must move our people just in the direction of prosperity. The prosperity of the region is in the best interest of the states. It is more about people and not about politics”.
Welcoming the governors earlier, the host Governor Ajumobi said the presence of the governors of the states in the region is a clear testimony of the importance they have placed to the common challenges and problems confronting the people of the region.
Recounting the present economic predicament that has befallen the country and the antecedent effect of the state governments’ inability to pay workers salaries among others, Ajimobi noted that the region with all its potentials and resources clearly have no business with underdevelopment, poverty and low quality of life.