The governors also denied involvement in the Operation Python Dance of 2017 in which the country home of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was raided.
The Chairman of the Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, announced this at the end of an expanded meeting which was attended by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Service Chiefs in the zone, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other stakeholders.
The governors also agreed on continuous joint air operation to flush out bandits from all forests in the Southeast zone.
“We also agreed that we have to put measures in place to restrain movement of herdsmen and their cattle from one state to another, which is a source and point of conflict with the natives and farmers and also restrain the movement of cattle and herdsmen from coming to communities across farmland. We commend Enugu State governor in the establishment of Forest Guards which was a decision of Southeast Governors. We encourage the remaining Southeast governors to launch theirs. Southeast governors have banned herdsmen who move about with AK 47 guns and cutlasses and we want our security agencies to implement same.
Southeast governors never invited the army nor were Southeast governors informed of any of their operations on Python Dance until the operations were already started in the states.
Southeast governors would like to write to Mr. President to request for a meeting with him and all the security chiefs on security to douse tension in the region,” Umahi stated.
The governors also disclosed the result of the parley with the Aviation Minister, saying: “We acknowledge the safety reasons given to us by the Hon Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, for the closure of Enugu Airport. It’s a matter of need to save the lives of our people. Hon Minister of Aviation has assured us that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport will be reconstructed to meet the Abuja International Airport standard; the runway shall be reconstructed and extended, and the landing equipment shall be replaced with a better night landing light installation and he has assured that the work will go on day and night and it must be completed before December 2019. Other works like the cargo section, extension of the tarmac, buildings that were damaged by rain storm etc., are also in the package. He has assured us also that two sets of contractors are pinned down for any of them to be used like Julius Berger as we requested and PW but in the weeks ahead we will be asking him that we have a choice of Julius Berger.
The South East governors will have a committee with Minister of Aviation and Minister of Works to discuss on the palliative measures.
They further pledged their commitment as Southeast governors “for the safety of our people, for the convenience of our people to ease all inconveniences and these we are going to do. Some states have already started and some states will also follow. And in the next one week we will totally roll out our palliative measures and we assure our people of their safety.”