Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Northern States Governors’ Forum, (NSGF) on Thursday met in Kaduna to address the kidnapping of 110 school girls in Dapchi, Yobe State, including the farmers-herders clashes and the resulting murders across the region.
Speaking at the opening session of the meeting holding at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Hiuse, Kaduna, Borno state Governor and Chairman of the forum Kashim Shettima called on his colleagues to look at the issues dispassionately with a view to arriving at genuine solutions.
He also disclosed that the forum will receive the report of the restructuring committee headed by Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, saying that the region like other regions will come up with a position on the vexing issue.
Top on the agenda of today’s meeting is the issue of the lingering inter-communal crisis in various parts of the region, which in recent times appear to be escalating with deadly and destructive consequences such as the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen,” Shettima stated.
“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, to device viable strategies to forestall all forms of security challenges that may likely erupt in the future.”
He added that: “I need to emphasize that whatever resolutions we may arrive at should be without prejudice to the various commendable and comprehensive measures being put in place by the Federal 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.
“Similarly, in the last few days, Taraba and Kaduna States have again experienced a spate of deadly and destructive communal clashes which culminated in the loss of many lives and destruction of millions of naira worth of property.
“Although the security agencies have responded positively and are now on top of the situation, we as a Forum 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 inputing political, ethnic or religious colorations to the conflict,” the Governor said.
Only six of the 19 governors from the region including that of Zamfara, Katsina, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kogi and Kaduna, were present in person, with the rest represented by their deputies.