The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has decried the lingering security challenges in the country, particularly, in the North.
This was contained in a communiqué issued yesterday at the end of the governors’ meeting at the Government House, Kaduna.
The position of the governors is coming on the heels of increasing activities of banditry and kidnapping, especially, in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states.
The communiqué, which was read by the outgoing Chairman of the forum and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, said: “The meeting was convened to deliberate on the major issues affecting the Northern States and the nation at large, particularly the current challenges of insecurity which seems to be deteriorating, despite concerted efforts by federal and state governments.”
The communiqué stated that in order to tackle the challenges in an all-encompassing manner, the forum set up a committee headed by Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari to develop a comprehensive regional plan of action that would bring lasting solutions to the lingering crises.
“The committee, as part of its mandate, would seek audience with President Muhammadu Buhari and make adequate presentation to him on the true nature of the security challenges,” the communiqué added.
It noted that suggestions on the issues would be made, based on thorough and insightful analysis and assessment of the situation and the best possible way the federal government can resolve them.
The forum announced the Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Lalong as its new chairman and the appointment of Mallam Tanimu Yakubu as the new Chairman of the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC). It also resolved that the current management of the company, which has been operating in acting capacity, should remain until the appointment of a substantive executive management.
Earlier in his opening speech, Shettima, who was the Chairman of the Forum, appealed to the federal government to restrategise and come up with measures that would permanently address the security challenges in the north.
Shettima also disclosed that the northern governors would meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to brainstorm on the issue.
The governor noted that although the forum had implemented quite some measures in the last few years to tame the security challenges in the region, a lot still needed to be done.
“The steps taken by the federal government are quite commendable, he said, adding,”I would like to, therefore, express our gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his quick response to the issues of insecurity in the region, which of recent, seem to be deteriorating.
”We appeal to the federal government to restrategise and come up with measures that could deal with the situation more permanently.
”We are arranging as a family to meet Mr. President upon his return from Saudi Arabia to cross pollinate ideas and come up with a robust solution to the challenges facing the north in terms of insecurity.”
Shettima, whose tenure as chairman of the NSGF has come to an end, thanked his colleagues for their support and cooperation, throughout the period of his tenure.
”I have been at the helm of affairs of the forum. I appeal to Your Excellences to extend similar support and cooperation to my successor,” he said.