THE 19 northern governors yesterday resolved to work together to end the menace of Boko Haram and ensure security of lives and property in the region. They pledged to support the Federal Government’s move for lasting peace and unity of the nation.
During the seven hours closed door meeting attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the governors observed that “the region needs an integrated approach towards tackling the unfortunate insecurity situation” which they also considered as new realities in the northern part of the country.
The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), Babangida Aliyu, while tendering the resolutions of the meeting, said the forum decided to “constitute a committee to monitor the implementation of the Federal Government White Paper on Security in the North-East Zone.” Membership of the committee includes governors of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa and Plateau states.
According to Aliyu, the northern governors resolved to “adopt pragmatic, holistic and integrated regional approach to combating crime through collective effort of all security agencies. We are also to adopt common policies and programmes and build confidence among the people to promote economic prosperity in the North.”
Aliyu argued that in order to ensure a pragmatic solution to the insecurity in the North, the governors will continue to enlist the support of traditional rulers in the region, stressing that it was on that account that the Sultan of Sokoto came to address the governors at the meeting.
He explained that the Sultan “recounted the unprecedented challenges, especially in the North, in terms of rising trend of insecurity which has deprived democratic liberty, freedom and economic prosperity in the region.
“His Eminence expressed the resolve and readiness of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council to collaborate with the governors, who should be the mouthpiece of the North to restore enduring peace and harmonious co-existence and development in the region for the benefit of all.”
According to the Niger State governor, “calm or absence of violence in some of our communities should not be mistaken for peace, since genuine and lasting peace is not possible in the face of inequity and deprivation, which the northern states are experiencing despite the enormous natural endowments of the nation that should have been the collective patrimony of all parts of the federation.”
Earlier at the opening of the meeting, Aliyu, in his speech, stated that “undoubtedly, the North is facing one of its worst challenges, ever-growing poverty amidst growing expectations and dwindling economic resources to meet the needs of the people, thus giving rise to frustration, despondency and the spate of insecurity problems that have almost taken over our states.
“The North has probably never been in greater need for peace, investments and development than now, which necessitates the need for all of us, and I mean all of us, to come together to act in precise directions to bring an end to poverty, ignorance and illiteracy that have become endemic in our communities.”