Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Northern Governors’ Forum chaired by Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong rose from a meeting with relevant stakeholders on Monday, declaring that some anti-democracy forces wanted to hijack #EndSARS protests to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors appreciated President Buhari and his Cabinet for the quick intervention in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters and prevented forces that wanted to hide under the protest to destabilise the country.
They resolved to give him (Buhari) the maximum support as he rolls out measures to address the lingering challenges of youth unemployment, banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
This was contained in a communique read at the end of the meeting by the Forum chairman, Lalong.
“The meeting rejects and condemns the subversive acțions of the #EndSARS change protest. The superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot Box soon take advantage of the peaceful protests to push for their separative agenda. The meeting endorses the indivisibility, indissolubility and oneness of the Nation.
“Commends the roles of His Eminence, Royal Highnesses and other Royal Fathers in ensuring that the #EndSARS protests did not escalate significantly in the North by adopting sentimental issues such as ethnicity and religion, the Forum resolved to continuously engage with their Royal Highnesses in addressing this challenge.
“Forum appreciate Mr President and his Cabinet for the quick intervention in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters and resolved to give him the maximum support as he rolls out measures to address the lingering challenges of youth unemployment, banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
“Meeting noted and appreciated the far-reaching efforts of Northern States Governor’s Forum in taking proactive measures to address the #EndSARS protest in the country and the North in particular. Equally Forum notes with satisfaction the actions taken by the Governors to revive the economic fortunes of the region particularly during the post-COVID-19 period”. The communique said.
The meeting was attended by the Senate President, the Deputy Speaker and other members of the National Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, the Minister of Information and Culture, the Inspector-General of Police, Principal Officers of the National Assembly, Chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by the Sultan of Sokoto amongst others.
The governors appreciated the roles of traditional rulers in containing the menace of #EndSARS protests in the north and collectively agreed that traditional rulers be given formal roles in the governance architecture of the country.
“The Forum appreciates the role of religious leaders, such as the Ulamas, JNI and CAN for their positive interventions in resolving the #EndSARS conflicts.
“Calls for a collective effort in addressing the lingering challenges of the North e.g. Almajiri system, insecurity, illiteracy, poverty, etc
“Forum appreciates the roles of National Assembly in engaging the youths and other critical stakeholders of the Nation in resolving the #EndSARS conflicts.
“The Forum also appreciate the roles of the youth for their response to the #EndSARS, in curtailing the spread of hooliganism, thuggery and other separatist tendencies.
“Forum appreciates the major reforms going on in the Police Force and pledges to support Mr President on this course.
“The Meeting resolves to support the Nigerian Police Force to serve the country better and calls for the strengthening of trust between the people and the Police.
“The Meeting expressed concern over the low-level involvement of relevant stakeholders in the implementation programmes of Government and calls on the relevant Agencies to review implementation strategies to make for maximum impact and benefits.
“Condemned attacks on persons and properties of especially persons living in other parts of the country. Also condemned attacks and burning of places of worship in some parts of the country in the name of #EndSARS protests.
“The meeting took note of the devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news. Therefore, calls for major control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria.
“Meeting raises attention on the need to keep a strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory to guide against unwarranted and destructive protests to safeguard critical assets of the Nation.
“Meeting commends the National Assembly and the Presidency in being proactive in addressing the issues of #EndSARS protests across the country.
“Need to further push for amicable resolutions of ASSU strikes to enable students to resume their studies,
“Meeting resolved that there is a need for regular meetings of this nature. Calls for further engagement with other critical stakeholders such as Religious, Leaders, Business community, youths leaders, etc.
“Accordingly, the meeting approved the setting up of two major engagement committees: (a) Committee on roles of traditional Rulers, Membership:
(i) Emir of Lafiya as Chairman
(i) Two Representative from the National Assembly;
(ii) 1 Representative from each of the 3 zones
(iv) 1 from the Federal Executive Council.
(b) Committee on Youth and Civil Societies
(i) Emir of Zazzau as Chairman
(i) 1 representative each from Geo-Political Zones
(ii) 1 each for the youth Geopolitical Zones
(v) 1 representative of Women / Girls
(vi) One each of Muslim and Christian Clerics
(vii) Persons living with disability:
(viii) Business Community
(ix) Representative of the Inspector General of Police”. The communique added.