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The meeting started as scheduled with a huge turnout.

SOUTH EAST/SOUTH SOUTH NETWORK (SESSNet)

1st SOUTH EAST SOUTH SOUTH CONFERENCE

HELD AT CONFERENCE HALL KINKS HOTEL, OWERRI IMO STATE ON 18TH APRIL 2017

MINUTES OF THE MEETING

The meeting started as scheduled with a huge turnout.

WELCOME ADDRESS - MR. DANIEL ELOMBAH

He highlighted the importance of unity among the South East/South South, in other to forge the region ahead economically and politically. He stressed on the common development of the entire region –South South / South East, devoid of bickering and rancour. 

He asked a pertinent question “have we asked ourselves why graduates from the region don’t have a befitting job these days”. The period he has been around the country most of the drivers driving him around are graduates, who sees driving as the last hope. Is Driver a befitting job for a university graduate?, he asked. Continuing He ask two important questions.

Why are we here?

“I am tired of the whole situation that is why I am here, I do not know about you” he said. The situation of the region is so pathetic and we have to do something about it. It must change for the better of all of us. 

He posed two pertinent questions. -  What Animal eats its young?.

“I will not answer this one, but leave the audience to find the answer”, he said.

He stressed the importance of South South (SS), South East(SE) forging an alignment that works.

He posed the second question, What is the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Lagos State?. At this, he made the audience to know that, Lagos State IGR being more than most South East/South South States put together is not by accident, but man made. It is a political game played against the South South/South East people, to keep them impoverished.

There are viable Ports in the SE/SS -  Rivers State, Cross River State, Anambra State, Imo State etc. Why are they not working? Your guess is as good as mine, he left the question for the audience to answer.

Actually the IGR of Lagos state is more than most of the SS/SE States put together, the reason is marginalization of the SS/SE people, in order to keep them down.

He stated that we are here to educate ourselves and create the enabling environment for the region (SE/SS) to thrive.

To develop SE and SS to the level, that the region can sustain itself without looking outside the region for its sustenance. 

BARRISTER AZUMBA FRANKLIN (SPEAKER)

Spoke on the importance of the event, emphasizing on the importance of unity amongst the people of the region. The emergence of a formidable unity amongst us will arouse economic growth within the region thereby enhancing wealth creation.

MAZI TOCHUKWU EZEOKE (SPEAKER)

Finding Solution To The Dilapidated House – using power point presentation, he saw Nigeria as a dilapidated house that needs a solution to keep it in order. How do we fix the entity called Nigeria? He asked. Which he represented as wreck and worn out with weak foundation. He also presented Nigeria a baby still been fed with feeding bottle. The system must change, he emphasized. To fix the system (Nigeria), we must fix the constitution, which as he said is the foundation upon which the so called Nigeria stands. A faulty constitution brings a faulty system. The constitution says we the people of Nigeria,” Is the present constitution the brain child of the people of Nigeria, the answer is No”. the military leaders at that time selected few of their friends, who drafted the constitution and tagged it “we the people of Nigeria”.

Hence to get it right, the constitution must be right. The true Nigerians who are true owners of the Land must be made to Partake in the drafting of the constitution, to suit their purpose and wants. Then we can now talk of sovereign Nigerian State, where everybody is a partaker of it reigns.

The current system is not right, hence we have to restructure. The answer is to restructure the constitution.

The Benefits of Restructure:

Functional Fiscal Federation: There must be true federation, local policing must be enforced. There must be community based structuring. The people should decide on how to manage their personal obligations and welfare.

Building Infrastructure: The building of high ways, Railways, Refineries, Ports etc. must be left in the hands of States and Local Government Areas. The federal government must not be made the sole responsibility of building the above named infrastructures.

How do we actualize these?  

Everybody must get involved, we must be responsible and responsive to what happens around us. We must decide who represent us in whatever form, federal, state or local. Therefore we must make our votes count and be sure it counts. He rounded off on this note, which was his watch word.

The watchword – Get involved, Have your say, Make it count!

CHIEF ALOYSIUS OSUJI – (SPEAKER)

The political structure has not helped the SE/SS people. The appointments to Federal Boards, Parastatals and placement done by the federal government are mostly to the detriment of the region (SS/SE). This is due to the way the constitution is structured, from the onset. Hence the marginalization.

SESSNet objective is to partake in the negotiations that will benefit the people of the region.

Why SESSNET Must Wok

Why has the Federal government not been using the Port Harcourt, Calabar Ports?- due to the Structure of the so called Nigeria. He answered.  Can we decongest Lagos Port and allow Ports in SS/SE work?

Hence there must be enlightenment amongst our people. There is need that people should start making use of their Whatsapp, Facebook and other media tools to enlighten our people, in order to achieve these great goals, he emphasized.

Importance Of Education: do not sale your vote. Its implication is great- poverty, blindness and underdevelopment, he concluded.

ELDER UMA ELEAZU – (SPEAKER)

Political Orientation: In a power point presentation he analysed the formation of a formidable committee of SS/SE made up of governors, House members and Local govt. Chairmen from the region. 

He said through this means the goals of SESSNET will be achieved.  He called on all and sundry to join hands with SS, SE professionals to actualize what is already on paper.

There must be unity of purpose, all arms, organisations must forge ahead with one mind and goal, he said.

Sovereignty can be achieved with self determination, even with the faulty 1999 constitution, which they said was written by the people of Nigeria. When it is known and obvious that it was not written by the people of Nigeria rather a few selected Nigerians. For it did not represent the wishes and aspiration of the people.

REV. LEO OLU MARTINS – SPEAKER

He deliberated on the fooly of the people of SS/SE region among the committee of the Nigerian nations/regions. 

The region must wake up from its slumber and think aright, for the benefit of all. The region must fight for what belongs to it rather than playing the second fiddle.

He went at length to discuss his experience as a union leader and how they lost it as a group/region.

The SS/SE must get it right for the benefit of all, the region must overcome rhetorics he said. He lamented the predicaments of job seekers in Nigeria, saying that the country-Nigeria has not been fare to its youth. They do not care for the youths he said and the youths do not want to take the bull by the horn.

He spoke fluently and eloquently, after which the whole house was charged to the admiration of the participants. The whole house was full of emotions as he rounded up his speech with a great applause from the audience.

To Continue in Part (11)

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