By Lawrence Olaoye
Governors of the South Eastern States have said that they would not apologize to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for any reason.
IPOB had recently written to the governors giving conditions for truce accusing them of colluding with the government to declare Operation Python Dance in the region.
But the chairman of the South East Governors Forum, and Enonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, who briefed State House Correspondents after meeting the President said the governors had no hand in the proscription of the group.
Umahi said “We have no apology for IPOB because we did not proscribe them. Yes, we are the leaders of the people and we had to speak against their activities.”
The governor also said that the group have no power to issue travel ban and threat to anybody describing the travel ban as empty threats.
He added that no responsible government would allow a proscribed group to promote lawlessness.
The governor also mocked IPOB, saying that he would inform the members any time he planned to travel out of Nigeria.
“IPOB have no powers to place travel ban on governors or anyone. I will even tell IPOB any time I intend to travel”, he stated.
Asked on the plan of the south east region towards 2023 presidential election, Umahi said that it was premature for him and his colleagues to start talking of whatever ambitions they may have for succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The governor said that it would amount to insulting the occupier of that seat, who is not even up to a year in his second term of office.
On why he came to see the Presdent, he said he came to thank the President for the closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu for urgent repairs, but demanded that this be done with emergency funding intervention which will make the repairs faster than relying on budgetary provisions.
Umahi stressed that Southeast Governors had not been sleeping over the security challenges in the region, but had to be mature and circumspect in their utterances in other not to exacerbate the situation.
He noted that not all security measures are made public, he however, recalled the Southeast Governors had banned movement of cattle on foot across the region by herdsmen.
He described his discussion with Buhari as fruitful just as he asked the President for support for the reactivation and eventual passage of the Southeast Development Commission bill in the National Assembly.