John Adams, Minna
Governors of northwest and north-central states rose from an emergency meeting on Wednesday in Kaduna with a firm resolved to jointly tackle the security challenges in the regions which they said, have made lives meaningless to the people.
To achieve this, the governors have agreed to jointly fund security operations aimed at conclusively addressing the challenges from the criminal elements.
The meeting which was conveyed by the governors to review the security situation in their areas and to agree on joint responses to the coronavirus pandemic had in attendance, Governors Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), host governor Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and deputy governor Nasiru Gawuna who represented Kano State.
While Governor Abubakar Sani Bello who is the chairman of North Central Governors’ Forum was present at the meeting, the governor of Kwara State participated at the meeting via telephone.
The meeting, which was chaired by the chairman of the Northwest Governors’ Forum, Aminu Bello Masari, was also attended by the secretaries of the affected government (SSGs), their special advisers and commissioners responsible for security matters.
Before the meeting started, the governors had received briefings from heads of security agencies in the zones which included, Major-General A. Agundu (Commander, Operation Safe Haven); Major-Gen. F.I. Yahaya, GOC 1 Division; AVM, M.I. Mukhtar (AOC Air Training Command); Rear Admiral T. Pani (Commandant, Nigerian Navy School of Armaments) and other senior military officers.
Also commissioners of police and state directors of the DSS from the concerned states were in attendance at the meeting.
The governors in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and jointly sighed by all the governors of the nine states, agreed on extraordinary measures to tackle the menace of banditry and forms of criminalities in the zones.
According to the communiqué, the governors also agreed on joint measures to protect citizens from the likely impact of Covid-19.
Some of these measures included the closures of schools for the period of 30 days, starting from Monday, March 23, and this shall be done by each of the states in consultation with the national examination bodies.
Other measures included sensitisation campaigns to discourage large gatherings until further notice, public health awareness campaigns by these states to encourage citizens to uphold personal hygiene, including handwashing and environmental sanitation.