The Presidency has advanced reasons why the Federal Government representatives was absent from meeting of South-South stakeholders scheduled for yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
It explained that though the action was regrettable, their absence was occasioned by an emergency meeting of the National Security Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, which was coincidentally the day of the stakeholders meeting.
The FG’s delegation to the meeting including Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, ministers and heads of security and intelligence agencies, the Presidency maintained, were in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting.
Through a statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said that plans are being concluded to fix another meeting date with the stakeholders after due consultations.
According to him, the absence of the federal government delegation at the planned meeting with governors and stakeholders of the South-South region was necessitated by an emergency security meeting summoned by the President and certainly not out of disrespect.
“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 President is strongly and resolutely committed to hearing from leaders, stakeholders and our youth on burning issues affecting all parts of the federation, and to this effect, a new date for the meeting with the South-South will be agreed after due consultations with the parties concerned.
Once again, the unavoidable postponement of the meeting is regretted,” the statement.
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