The Former Imo State Governor, and senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, Rochas Okorocha, has thrown his weight behind the call for national dialogue by southern governors to address the issue of insecurity and other challenges in the country.
He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, adding that those faulting the action of the governors lack insight behind the motive for the move.
“What I understand from this whole meeting is that things are not well and I like the name they use – national dialogue… that is a call for peace, not for war. That should not be taken out of context,” said Okorocha who now represents Imo West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
“Since 1960, has there been any time the southern governors have met to say that they ban open grazing? The answer is no.
“Has there been any meeting where the southern governors have said the Fulanis or the herders are enemies? No! And I don’t think that is the intention of that meeting; if it is, then I don’t think I am part of it.”
Recall that the southern governors had last week met in Asaba, the Delta State capital where they agreed to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region, and called for a national dialogue.
The governors had also called for restructuring of the country along with fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, and state policing, among other demands.
Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation, the governors noted that convening a national dialogue to address the agitations by various groups in the region is necessary. Okorocha however said he was concerned about the timing of such a call.
According to him, “President Muhammadu Buhari may not have the luxury of time to convene such a dialogue considering that he has about two years to complete his second term in office.
“Coming to other issues of this national dialogue, my only concern about their statement is the time factor; If you look at it now, President Muhammadu Buhari has spent 70 percent of his tenure as president, he has barely two years to go.
“And if you start forming this dialogue thing, I am sure it will take you six months to compose it and to set up a secretariat and others, that will take you up to January and by then, politics would have taken a different dimension and when will Buhari have the time to complete this whole thing?” the former governor asked.