The re-election of Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State on Saturday has put the six South-South States under one political party, but will that be used to advance the fortunes of the region? With a political homogenity, the governors now do not have any other excuse than to bring back the BRACED Commission.
The rekindling of the much talked-about South-South regional integration bloc of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Edo and Delta States has been mouthed by the governors since some of them won re-elections for their second term in 2019 yet there have been little efforts put into actualizing such lofting dreams. The benefits of such a regional economic cooperation and integration are huge as it will help accelerate and consolidate economic and social development. Specifically, it will stimulate development in agriculture, environment, infrastructure development, human capacity development and industrialization.
The governors should now eschew parochial politics and come together like they did during the Saturday’s election and strategize on how to pool resources together, enlarge local markets, stimulating production, trade and investment which will in turn alleviate poverty, generate employment, and improve per capita in the region.
They should also strive to strengthen the structure of governance in the region and incorporate private sector to create favourable and sustainable policy with a legal framework that would bring about improved participation of the private sector for regional development.
They need to review policies on power and use the enourmouse gas reserves in the region to generate, transmit and distribute power to connect people, industry and natural resources and create jobs.
Now is the time for the people to feel the impact of having a regional political homegenity.