From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern Governors Forum and the Northern Elders Forum has expressed strong determination to protect Nigerians living in the North and demanded the safety of all Northerners living in the South West and other parts of the country.
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong met with the Northern Elders from on Monday evening at Plateau Governors Lodge, Abuja to fashion out mature and acceptable way to resolve issues of quit notices in different parts of the country.
Lalong said the Governor of Sokoto state and Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State represented the Northern Governors Forum while Prof. Ango Abdullahi led the Northern elders to the brainstorming session.
He explained that said the meeting was convened to calm fried nurves and tension all over the country on the need to tolerate each other and live together as one.
“This is the delegation of Northern Elders led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, it is part of our engagement since we had this fracas of quit notice here and there and the problem in the country. The Northern Governors Forum had to engage some of our leaders and to find a way of calming nerves.
“Today, we just came back from Kaduna after the North West meeting with security agencies and we had a fruitful discussion with the Northern Elders.
“The meeting was to calm nurves and to assure our Northern brothers that measures are being taken. We don’t want others to go away but when we have issues like this, we should look for a very mature way forward and that is what we have discussed.
“We also discussed the issues and what is expected from Government, both federal and state Governors in the North to address some of the issues.
“The bottom line is to find a way forward to make progress in the North and also progress in Nigeria. After our meeting in Kaduna, we send a delegation to go to Oyo, they are right now in Ibadan to assess the situation to see the truth about what is really happening to Northerners in the South West and to bring back the report.
“We have not finish our engagement, we are going to take what we have gathered to the Northern Governors Forum for further discussion. The meeting here is a representative of Northern Governors, we are going to report back to the full house.
“We are working to calm nerves because as it is now, tension is everywhere, so we want to calm nerves and also to look at the grievances and help in solving them.” He stated.
The Spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed they were in the meeting to table their complaint before the Northern Governors and to inform them about their action.
“We came to lay down the complaint of Northerners, we came to seek for their support behind some of the initiative we are taking, we came to seek assurances from them, they are our vigilant, they are on their toes in term of defending the interest of Northerners and it was an extremely productive meeting.
“They have briefed us on a number of issues that they will be vigilant in the interest of Northerners and to collaborate with their fellow Governors in other parts of the country to make sure that they deescalate the issues down and protect every Nigerian and we are very happy about the outcome of the meeting.
“The Northern Governors Forum have said to Northerners not to take the law into their hands, we have asked Northerners to exercise restraint, maturity and responsibility. We are asking Nigerians from the Southern parts of the country to desist acts that provoct other Nigerians.
“We believe every Nigerian has the duty to be responsible and to recognize the fact that this is one country, we have people all over the place. The last thing we want in the North is for any attack on anybody who is innocent and we want Northerners in the Southern parts of the country to be treated equally.” He stated.