The presidency has explained that the failure of the federal government’s delegation to appear at a consultative meeting with South-south leaders stakeholders was due to the security council meeting which held in the State House on Tuesday.
The Senior Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu gave this explanation in a statement released on Wednesday.
He stated that he presidential team to be led by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, was already prepared to leave for the meeting when they were instructed to suspend the move and attend the national security council meeting.
Shehu revealed that information conveying the presidency’s regret for inconveniences caused by the development had already been transmitted to the hosts of the meeting.
While regretting the absence of the delegation at the meeting, Shehu stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to hearing from leaders of various regions of the country, including the South-south.
The statement read: “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.”
Ijaw News had earlier reported how the consultative meeting was stalled over the absence of the presidential delegation.
The non-appearance of the delegation infuriated the South-south leaders who demanded an unreserved apology from the presidency for allegedly treating them with contempt.
Submitting that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to hearing from leaders of various regions of the country, including the South-south, Shehu who reiterated that inconveniences caused by the development were regretted, added that a new date for the meeting would be communicated to them.