From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern States Governors Forum has expressed strong concerned over the growing issues of insecurity in the country and called on Political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their jurisdiction with a view to identify criminal elements and treat them as such.
The Forum in a communique after its emergency virtual meeting on Monday condemned every form of criminality either from herders, hunters or farmers occupying forest reserve illegally in any parts of the country.
The meeting which was presided by the Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
“On security of the region and the nation, the Forum noted with concern the growing wave of insecurity in the country particularly as it relates to circulation of unverified video clips on social media portraying violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country. Therefore, Forum:
“The Forum reiterates that it condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally. Noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
“Called on political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals as criminals. Expressed concern that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which the Northern Governors are working assiduously to contain.”
Lalong said the Forum is converging in Kaduna state to address some security issues that concerned the region and called on Nigerian Governors Forum to also meet and discuss security issues that affect the country wholistically.
“Notes with concern that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable in view of growing urbanization and population of the country. Consequently, Forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adapt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.”
The Fourm appealed to the Federal Government to support States with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.
“The Forum resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the north. Accordingly, a four-man Committee was put in place to be headed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.
“Called for restraint from leaders including those in the Southern parts of the country where passions are high. Similarly, they called on all the citizens of the north to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”
The Forum congratulated the new Service Chiefs over their recent appointments and resolved to collaborate with them in enhancing the security of the region and the nation at large.