The leaders of the South East geopolitical zone recently met to discuss the ongoing socioeconomic and political challenges posed by incessant killings, kidnapping, and general insecurity, exacerbated by “sit-at-home orders.” They resolved to meet with President Bola Tinubu to seek urgent Federal Government interventions to address these issues. Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma was present at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to facilitate the meeting.

The leadership of the South East geopolitical zone has been bedeviled by high levels of security, including banditry, kidnapping, and activities of unknown gunmen. Despite significant investments in tackling these challenges in most of the five states in the southeastern part of Nigeria, the problems seem not to be improving. The leadership agreed to work with the forum of governors from the southeast to request Mr. President’s intervention and secure an appointment for an official visit to the President by regional leaders to table these issues before the President.

The people of the southeast believe in the unity of the country and need serious attention in terms of provision of security for their people to go about their businesses. The region is considering tabling a request for the release of Nnamdi Kanu as a panacea for restoring peace to that region. The request is not for the public at the moment, but the leaders are aware of the problems in the south east and are calling on the President to address them so there can be peace in the region.

The situation in the southeast is not as simple as some people think, and there is no government directive for sit-at-home orders. Instead, the people are afraid to come out due to the indiscriminate killing of people and high level of insecurity. This perception management issue is being addressed, and the federal government must step up security measures to manage the situation. The sense of security will return to the citizenry and they will be able to go about their businesses.

Flooding is another issue that the leaders will be discussing or tabling before Mr. President for interventions from the federal government. Preliminary surveys have revealed that a huge amount of money will be required to remediate the issue, which may be much bigger than what states can afford. A subcommittee has been set up at the National Economic Council (NEC) to investigate the matter, and the next NEC report is expected soon.

Some locals, like Imo State Governor Tony Aliemen, have adopted a remedial approach to the situation, doing hydrographic surveys of nearby rivers and tributaries to deepen rivers to accommodate rain water and reduce, if not completely eliminate flooding. This may indicate that the security situation in the South East is now beyond the sub-national government, and the leaders are seeking federal government intervention to address these issues.