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Timing of S/East economic summit did not favour presidency, S/East Govs.—Finance expert

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Contrary to speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari avoided the maiden South-East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu on grounds of fears for some pro-Biafra agitators, leading finance analyst, Dr. Clarus Maduka has voided the claims, saying the timing of the summit was faulty ab-inito.

Business Hilights recalls that a pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, had in the build up to the summit, issued a statement, warning Buhari to stay away from the South-East, in his own interest.

IPOB, whose leader, and director of pirate radio channel, Nnamdi Kanu, is being held by the Federal Government, accused Buhari of ‘persecution’, and threatened ‘a breakdown of law and order’ should the President attend the summit.

In a telephone interview, the Enugu State based industrial magnet said “You cannot be talking of a summit on economy and security without putting the state of the nation on the table”.

“Currently, every state is facing serious challenge in paying salaries so that their citizens will take care of themselves within the yuletide and plan for the coming year.

“Now many of these states including the South East governors are having problems in even paying salaries and pensioners’. Am happy your platform creditably reported the drama performed by pensioners in Owerri earlier in the week. Now, do you expect Governor Okorocha to come and seat in front of people and talk about economy when demonstrators are waiting for him at home.

He added that “This is the reason why even the South East governors did not attend and that is why I say the timing is very wrong”.

While calling on credible political leaders in the South East to “first of all seat down on their own to think for themselves before inviting others like Mr. President,” Dr. Maduka cautioned people to avoid seeing the absence of Mr. President as cowardice but an indication that the timing was wrong.

It would be recalled that Muhammadu Buhari and all the South East Governor, but Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi attended the summit Thursday stayed.

Preliminary arrangement to the summit showed Buhari was meant to be the Chief Guest of Honour at the summit.

Although the President was expected at the event, as noted by several speakers who spoke during the event, he did not show up, neither was he represented this is as all ministers from the South-East, who were slated to make presentations at the event, all stayed away.


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