From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors of the 36 states of the federation on the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), have agreed to dedicate portions of the Excess Crude Account, the Natural Resource Development Fund and the Economic Stabilization Fund to providing the necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions to address immediately the impunity associated with all of the crimes and criminality plaguing the country.
This decision was contained in the communique read at the end of the NGF’s first physical meeting since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country last year February, held at the banquet hall of the State House Conference Center.
The Chairman of NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who read the communique at the end of the three-hour meeting, said: “Our meeting also reviewed the challenges of resourcing for our military institutions. We welcome the appointment of new services chiefs and we are supportive of the work they promised to do. We hope a new security architecture will emerge from these new leadership.
“On our part, we are prepared to support the dedication of portions of the Excess Crude Account and the Natural Resource Development Fund and the Economic Stabilization Fund to providing the necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions to address immediately the impunity associated with all of the crimes and criminality that we have highlighted in this briefing.
“In this wise, we have also expressed our interest in strengthening our judicial system so that they can accelerate access to justice for victims of crime and criminality in the country.”
Continuing, Fayemi added that:
“Governors are irrevocably committed to the protection of lives and property in our states and we are full of sympathy with those who have lost lives and property. The governors forum has gone ahead to provide some financial support to victims of the conflicts experienced in Uyo and Ogun states where our delegation visited over the last week.
“Nigerian governors also are very clear that crime and criminality should be comprehensively prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic, religious or any other coloration.
“Governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime. Knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, whether we are talking of the way youths were profiles in Germany leading to the world war, or we talking of the way Tutsis were profiled leading to the genocide experienced in Rwanda, we do not believe that crimes are associated with particular ethnic group.
“And to that extent, we unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethnic group on account of a particular crime.
“Governors are also totally opposed to the proliferation of fake news, and the abuse of social media. Many of us have seen those fake videos that have almost led to reprisals in other parts of the country and we want to explore both our mainstream media organizations as well as individuals to apply restraint in the way and manner issues relating to security of lives and property is reported.”
The NGF chairman said, governors also reviewed the need to strengthen the National Livestock Transformation Plan. According to them, “because it the view of all the governors in Nigeria that the traditional approach to grazing is no longer sustainable and that modern approach to livestock management need to be put in place and governors feel strongly that the strengthening of the National Livestock Transformation Plan would be a good place to start this comprehensive revisiting of the livestock management arrangement.
“Governors also highlighted in the course of our meeting the importance of reviewing our forestry management and environmental laws because we feel very strongly that our forests have become the den of these criminals and bandits simply because they are not properly managed across the board.
“And to this end, it is the considered view of governors that the forestry management needs to be immediately reviewed in collaboration with the federal authorities so that these problems that we have encountered can be immediately addressed.”