PPrecisely in 2017, the governors of the states of the Southeast region presented a laudable and noble initiative to forge a very strong and reliable regional integration.
Five years later, nothing serious has come out of the initiative. On the contrary, insecurity is watching the faces of certain States with a threatening air and if nothing is urgently done, the States risk to slide more dangerously in situations like some of the northern states, especially the Northeast and Northwest.
The urge for regions across the country to come together and forge economic integration was growing with geometric progression, and it sparked interest from Southeast governors to join the bandwagon.
Regional integration, which is simply the coming together of individual states within a region into a larger whole, is now in vogue.
This arrangement tends to achieve the following functions; strengthen trade in the region; create an enabling environment for private sector development; develop infrastructure programs in support of economic growth and regional integration; develop strong public institutions and good governance.
The urgency for stronger regional integration by the governors of the Southeast has been largely informed by the prevailing economic realities in the country. In the South West region, the Governors, in a continued search for regional integration of the area under the Development Program for Western Nigeria (DAWN), then resolved to work together to address the challenges of security facing the region and fostering economic growth and human well-being.
In a meeting attended by the governors of the region and their representatives, critical attention was given to issues such as kidnapping and the threat of shepherds.
There were enough early warning signals and one could attribute the current security situation to the inability of our security agencies to test their intelligence skills.
Really, we’re sitting on a barrel of gunpowder, and the detonation may be more imminent than expected. On that note, let the Governors of the Southeast revisit past regional integration, craft collaborative measures, and tackle head-on this threat called insecurity.
Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu writing from Abia State