Northern Governors meet over security challenges

Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna

Chairman Northern State Governors Forum and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima

The Northern State Governors Forum begins a meeting in Kaduna to discuss various security challenges in the region and the issue of restructuring.

The Chairman of the Forum, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, stated this at the opening of the meeting.

He said that as elected representatives of the people, the governors must dispassionately address the crisis bedevilling the region, stressing that, it would be of great disservice to the people, if the crisis were politicised or given religious or tribal colorations.

“As elected leaders, it is our primary responsibility to take a hard and critical look at these conflicts and come up with implementable ways and means of addressing them squarely.

“It is also critically important, as a long term measure, devise viable strategies to forestall all forms of security challenges that may likely erupt in the future,” he emphasised.

Comprehensive measures
He, however, noted that whatever resolutions they may arrive at, it should be without prejudice to the various commendable and comprehensive measures being put in place by the Nigerian government in addressing the security challenges; especially the recent abduction of the Dapchi School Girls.

“We appreciate and commend the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Dapchi crisis by ensuring the deployment of all necessary security personnel and equipment towards the rescue of the abducted girls,” he said.

According to Shettima, “there is need to pay particular attention to the root causes of such conflicts and their seemingly intractable nature with an open mind and from an unbiased perspective, in order to arrive at comprehensive means of addressing them.

“We should, in the process, also avoid imputing political, ethnic or religious colorations to the conflicts.’’

The NGF chairman further disclosed that the meeting would also receive the report of its committee on the restructuring of the country headed by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

“We may recall that the concept of restructuring at the initial stage had taken various dimensions which included resource control, regionalism and geo-political divisions among others,” he stated.

Shettima added that it was imperative that the North as a region like other regions of the Federation should have a common position on the issue; hence the establishment of the committee.

Sammie Idika