Aliyu did not speak for Northern governors – Jang

Channels Television  
Updated July 16, 2012

The Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang said he is not aware of the position of the purported Northern Governors Forum decision credited to the Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu over the Special Task Force military operation in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau state.

A statement by the Director of Press Affairs to the governor, James Mannok said perhaps Mr Aliyu was speaking in his capacity as governor of Niger State, stressing that the governor need to appreciate the changing internal dynamics of the current security challenges in the affected areas of the state culminating in the military operation targeted at terrorists that are still hiding in the hills and killing innocent citizens on the plateau.

The statement added that the issue on ground is beyond settler-indigenes, but acts of terrorism that is capable of tearing this nation apart.

Mr Jang cautioned against statements that convey sentiments. He said statements from national leaders should be tailored towards a nationalistic posture especially at a time when the nation is yearning for greater harmony and in search of the sponsors of the despicable acts against innocent citizens.

Mr Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Niger State, on Sunday reacted to the quit notice issued to residents of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Maseh and Shong II in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State by the Special Military Task Force (STF), urging them to exercise caution in carrying out their duties.

The STF had on Saturday asked inhabitants of the affected areas to vacate within 48 hours along with their property, in readiness for operations to flush out insurgents that have been attacking residents of the communities.

But Mr Aliyu warned that the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the STF could lead to a breakdown of law and order, not only in Plateau State but in other parts of the country.