Group tasks South East leaders on development

By Mary Okoh

South East leaders have been urged to initiate and execute developmental projects that will impact positively on the lives of the citizens in the region.
The Executive Director of Partners for Electoral Reform, Ezenwa Nwagwu, gave the advice during the South East Good Governance and Economic Summit organised by the Citizens Centre For Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) held at Tuscana Hotel in Enugu on Monday.
He lamented the non-functional international airport as well as regional financial institution among other social amenities in South East Region.
"South East needs political direction. It’s unfortunate that we don't have functional international airport in the region whereas we've been able to produce seversl Aviation Ministers in the region.
"If you go to North and West, Bank of the North and Wema Bank are still functional but unfortunately our regional bank is dead, hence the need for urgent intervention to develop our region and alleviate the sufferings of the citizens because we are poor due to lack of developmental projects in the region,” he said.

Nwagwu thereby called on South East activists to educate and mobilize the citizens to demand their right from government, adding, "We must be part of movement to demand for social amenities and service delivery in the South East".

Besides, the Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Mr Obidi Ngbemena, had lamented the widespread poverty, insecurity and low infrastructural development in South East.
He said, "We have collectively failed both as governments and people. As governments, there have been under our watch, widespread poverty, insecurity and low infrastructural development and as a people, our indifference and docility in the affairs of state have tended to characterise us as a people too independent-minded that our common patrimony is nobody's concern.
"It is inconceivable that we do not see a sense of urgency in addressing our socio-economic wellbeing as "Umu Igbo", given the recent turn of events in the country, occasioned by the shift from fossil oil dependence across the world," he said.

He however called for all hands to be on deck to transform the region through transparency, accountability and citizen participation as well as engender a new narrative to usher in rapid infrastructural development as against the current state of affairs.
He added, "We must create a state of affairs which brought some of our partners to tears as we reviewed abandoned projects in the region, the report of which shall be unveiled in the course of this meeting. It is our hope that this report will provide both the state and non-state actors with veritable information of the current state of affairs and become a useful tool of engagement and advocacy on the one hand, and governance reflection on the other.
"There is no question about what development would be recorded if those abandoned projects were completed. Indeed, wide spread southeast development can only be measured through the prism of Open Government Partnership (OGP), leading to open and participatory budget process from conception, through legislation, implementation, to monitoring and evaluation," he said.

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