Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo State, disavowed Thursday the controversial ‘Security Vote’ he had been accused of operating.
He has instead advocated for state governors to be granted additional authority to address security concerns at the sub-national level in concert with the federal structure of the United States.
The governor spoke candidly after meeting with President Bola Tinubu in private at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to request a meeting with the president to discuss the persistent security threats facing the Southeast and Ohaneze Ndigbo.
Remember that instability in the South East has occurred because the sit-at-home policy is still being enforced, even though the federal government is still holding the banned leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Uzodimma emphasized that as the ‘Chief Security Officer’ of Imo State, he uses both kinetic and non-kinetic techniques to deal with security concerns to the greatest extent possible within the law, despite the fact that he has no security vote from which to draw.
Uzodimma added that the people of the southeast value Nigeria’s national unity and deserve federal government support to let them go about their everyday lives and conduct their enterprises.
He declined to elaborate on what the southeast leaders would like to see from Tinubu at the conference, but he did express regret that non-state actors had used terror, random killings, and brigandage to enforce an illegal sit-at-home on certain days in the region.
He said that “perception management” had become an issue, and that international diplomacy was essential to finding a solution, but that it was outside the competence of state governors.
When asked about former Nigeria Delta insurgent Asari Dokubo’s allegation that his men are assisting the federal government handle instability in the southeast, Uzodimma said he was unaware of such, and couldn’t identify who are ‘Dokubo’s men.
He added that governors had no say over federally mandated security measures because of the country’s decentralized government.
In addition, the governor emphasized the devastating floods in the Southeast, saying that a new hydrographic analysis indicates the enormous cost of fixing the issue may be beyond the capacities of state governments.
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