From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern Governors Forum has urged Federal Government to look closely into the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons as it relates to the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North.
The Governors resolved to engaged local vigilante, hunters and community watch group in tackling the persistent insecurity in the region.
The Governors in a press statement signed by the Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong after a meeting conducted via teleconferencing.
“The Governors called on the Federal Government to closely look into the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons as it relates to the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North.”
The Governors expressed concern over the level of insecurity in the region and took certain decisions to contain the situation.
“Another decision reached by the Governors is the engagement of local vigilantes, hunters, and community watch groups in the security architecture of the region in order to foster intelligence gathering, rapid response and sustained surveillance.
“They agreed to set up a standing Committee on security in the North which will foster synergy between security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region. The Committee to be headed by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has Governors of Zamfara and Gombe as members.
“They also set up another Committee headed by Governor Simon Lalong on Consultation with Traditional, Religious and Community leaders in the North with a view to ensuring that there is wider involvement in tackling insecurity in the region. The Committee has Governors of Adamawa, Niger, and Sokoto as members.”
While commending the Nigerian security forces for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region so far, they called for increased synergy which will further enhance their operations and assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals.
“They also agreed to adopt dialogue where necessary while pursuing military measures in dealing with the various security challenges in the region.
The Northern Governors sympathized with victims of the various attacks and other forms of criminality in the region and appealed for calm by groups and those affected as both the Forum, individual State Governments and the Federal Government are working together to ensure that the ugly situation is brought under control.
The Governors want the Federal Government to accelerate the Livestock Transformation Plan which will assist in creating jobs among farmers and herders in the region and the country at large.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to deal with the security situation in the country and the region.