Needs for national security overrides meeting with South-South leaders~Buhari
By Oludare Mayowa
President Mohammadu Buhari has expressed regret for the sudden cancelation of the meeting with governors and stakeholders of the South-South region on Tuesday, which his media aides said was due to an emergency security meeting summoned by the President.
In a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the absence of the federal government delegation at the planned meeting was “certainly not out of disrespect.”
According to Shehu, the president will reschedule the meeting with the South-South for a new date after due consultations with the parties concerned.
“The President is strongly and resolutely committed to hearing from leaders, stakeholders and our youth on burning issues affecting all parts of the federation,” the statement noted.
While explaining the reason the government canceled the meeting at the eleventh hour, the presidential spokesman said; “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.
“This information and regret for the inconvenience caused were conveyed to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.
“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,” the statement stated.
“Once again, the unavoidable postponement of the meeting is regretted.”