The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) rose from its meeting in Kaduna on Thursday with a committee mandated to monitor the implementation of the Federal Government’s White Paper on Security Challenges in the North East geo-political zone.
The Forum also resolved to change its name from the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) to the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), in view of the close similarity to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
In a Communique read by its Chairman and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, the NGF announced the membership of the five-man committee to include the governors of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa and Plateau States.
Mr. Aliyu said the Forum deliberated extensively on the alarming rate of insecurity in the northern part of the country , noting that the region needed an integrated approach towards tackling the problems, particularly the current threat by the extremist Boko Haram sect.
The Communique reads in part: “The Forum, after extensive deliberations resolved to adopt a pragmatic, holistic and integrated regional approach to combating crime through collective effort of all security agencies; to adopt common policies and programmes, build confidence among the people to promote economic prosperity in the North.”
Chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar who addressed the meeting, said the region had encountered unprecedented challenges in terms of the rising trend of insecurity, which have deprived it of democratic liberty, freedom and economic prosperity.
The Sultan expressed the resolve and readiness of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council to collaborate with the Northern State Governors, who should be the mouth piece of the North, to restore enduring peace and harmonious co-existence and development in the region for the benefit of all.
The governors also constituted two separate committees consisting three governors each, with a view to approaching the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Finance for more consultations on how to benifit from programmes run by development partners such as the World Bank, DFID and others in the areas of health, education, social protection, water and agriculture, commerce and public financial reform.
Officials of the World Bank, DFID and other development partners who briefed the Forum on the need to facilitate the development of critical sectors in their economy, highlighted their new approach in partnering with states through knowledge sharing and direct budget support to those committed to public financial management and service delivery.
In his early remark at the meeting Chairman of the Forum and Niger state governor, Babangida Aliyu, had lamented that the killings by the sect was second only to the civil war of 1967-70 in which nearly a million people were killed.
Those who attended today’s meeting include the governors of Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kwara, Yobe, Niger,Borno and Sokoto, while those of Bauchi, Benue, Katsina, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and Nasarawa were represented by their deputies .
The traditional rulers at the meeting include the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, Emir of Kazaure, Najib Adamu, Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar, and the Gbong Gwong Jos , Jacob Gyang Buba.