The Presidency on Wednesday explained that the absence of its representatives from a meeting of South-South stakeholders fixed for Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was not out of disrespect.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. The statement was titled “South-South Assembly disrupted by emergency security meeting -Presidency.”
Shehu explained that the Federal Government delegation was absent at the meeting because of an emergency meeting of the National Security Council held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on the same day.
He said a new date for the meeting would be fixed after dues consultations.
Find the full statement below…
SOUTH-SOUTH ASSEMBLY DISRUPTED BY EMERGENCY SECURITY MEETING – PRESIDENCY
The Presidency wishes to explain that 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, certainly not out of disrespect.
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 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.