Northern governors pledge to support FG tackle security challenges

Chairman of the forum, Gov Shettima, with Govs el-Rufai (l) and Ganduje at one of their meetings

Governors of the 19 states of the north have said they will support the federal government in the efforts to address the multifarious security challenges in all parts of the nation. 

Rising from their meeting, Thursday in Kaduna, on the platform of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), the governors noted  the measures so far put in place  to resolve the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen, saying that viable and implementable measures should be initiated by governments at all levels.  

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the forum  "admonish political, religious and ethnic jingoist to avoid imputing religious, ethnic and political coloration to such conflict."

Signed by the chairman of the forum and governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, the communiqué also expressed concern over the growing and wide spread  drug abuse, especially among the youths and appealed to all relevant authorities to step up efforts in combating the menace. 

The communiqué specifically called on the federal government to declare state of emergency on drug abuse in the country as part of renewed efforts to deal with the scourge.

It also urged the federal government to provide all the necessary funds and equipment to the relevant agencies like NAFDAC and NDLEA to boost the fight against drug abuse. 

The meeting also called on state governments to set up high powered enforcement committees under the chairmanship of either the deputy governor or secretary to the state government to ensure that all the relevant laws and statutory provisions in respect to drug abuse are fully and effectively implemented at all times.

It further enjoined state ministries of women and youths to intensify sensitization and enlightenment programmes on the dangers of drug abuse.

 It also resolved to come up with appropriate legislation by the various Houses of Assembly in the Northern states.

 The forum received an Interim Report of the NSGF Committee on Restructuring of the Country, which was mandated to collate views and opinions of individuals, groups and organisations in the North and come up with a northern position on the national clamour for restructuring. The report touched on the various efforts being made by the committee towards actualizing its mandate. 

 According to the commuique, "The meeting specifically deliberated on the seemingly intractable and excruciating nature of the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, as well as other deadly and destructive security challenges confronting various parts of the North vis-a-vis their counter-veiling effects on social stability and developmental programmes of the various state governments in the region. 

"The forum particularly discussed the lethality and widespread nature of the spate of communal clashes and emergent criminal activities like kidnapping and armed banditry in various parts of the Northern States. 

"The forum also exhaustively deliberated on all the outstanding issues affecting the New Nigerian Development Company (NNDC), especially the institutional and structural challenges and impediments that have been retarding its viability and potentials as the economic life wire of the region. 

"The forum also discussed some pending challenges facing the New Nigerian Newspapers Company (NNNC),particularly the lingering concern of its pensioners and how best to resolve the issue in an all-encompassing and amicable way". 

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