Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has set up a committee to engage local vigilantes, hunters and community watch groups on intelligence gathering, rapid response and sustained surveillance in the region.
The chairman of the Forum, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau said this in a statement issued by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Friday in Jos. He said the engagement was part of the resolutions of the Northern Governors on teleconference meeting held, on Thursday, over the security challenges in the region.
The governors also urged the Federal Government to closely look into the ECOWAS protocol on the free migration of persons, facilitating cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly in the North. The committee headed by Lalong would also consult with traditional, religious and community leaders in the North, to strengthen their involvement in tackling security challenges.
He said a standing committee on security, headed by Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, was also set up to foster synergy between security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region. The chairman commended the security agencies in the country on their efforts in tackling. He called for increased synergy to further enhance their operations.
The Forum chairman said the gesture would assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals. It would also recommend the adoption of dialogue where necessary with measures by the military in handling various security challenges in the region. He sympathised with victims of various attacks and other forms of criminality in the region and also appealed to groups affected for calm. “The state governments and the federal government are working together to forestall reoccurrence,’’ Lalong stated.
He said efforts were being made toward addressing the humanitarian needs of the victims, urging the federal government to implement the Livestock Transformation Plan, which would assist in creating jobs among farmers and herders in the region and the country at large.