Nigerian governors met in the nation’s capital Abuja on Wednesday under the aegis of the Governors Forum (NGF).
During the meeting, at the NGF Secretariat, the governors discussed plans to set up Agro-processing zones across the country, among other things.
They also agreed to do everything to ensure effective polio immunisation in their states to prevent a reemergence of the disease in the country to ensure that Nigeria is certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation.
The meeting comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated his cabinet and assigned portfolio to ministers at a ceremony, which was attended by governors and other top government officials.
The Chairman of the Governors Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, has described the freezing of Benue State accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as unconstitutional.
Governor Yari disclosed this today after a closed-door meeting with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
He said the killings formed the major discussion when members of the forum met for about five hours where they decried the spate of the insecurity in the country.
Governor Yari revealed that the governors sympathised with the victims, people and government of Plateau, as well as other states that have experienced similar incidents.
Read the resolutions to the meeting, he said, “The governors have unanimously called for the prosecution of perpetrators of the attack and resolve to find a quick and common solution to the security crisis in the country.
“The forum resolves to pay a condolence visit to Plateau state to commensurate with the government and people of Plateau State.”
According to Yari, the forum also decided to convene a day meeting with the security chiefs to come up with a “holistic solution to the country’s security situation”.
Governors at the meeting include Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Mohammed Abubakar (Jigawa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Others are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), among other governors.
The governors met barely one day after the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the same issues.
The National Assembly leaders had after the meeting said that Nigeria can no longer condone the repeated killings of innocent citizens.
Although the police authorities in Plateau maintained that 100 people were killed when suspected herdsmen attacked the villages, conflicting figures have continued to trail the death toll.
President Buhari had paid a condolence visit to the state on Tuesday where he met with the traditional rulers, religious leaders, representatives of youth, women and trade union groups among other stakeholders in the state.
He had directed the security chiefs to be vigilant and ensure that the lives and property of the people were protected.
The President also appealed to Nigerians to live in peace with one another and avoid inflammatory utterances that can promote conflicts.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a meeting with some state governors which include Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State Governor.
The chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdul’aziz Yari led the delegation to the meeting which as held at the State House on October 17, 2017.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has set up a six-man committee to explore the option of state policing amidst calls for restructuring in the country.
The Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, revealed this to State House correspondents after the governors met in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The committee members, drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country, include governors from Kwara (Abdulfatah Ahmed), Imo (Rochas Okorocha), Delta (Ifeanyi Okowa), Ekiti (Ayodele Fayose), Bauchi (Mohammed Abubakar) and Sokoto (Aminu Tambuwal).
Governor Yari said that the committee would interface with the committee of police and come up with a decision which would be presented before Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for further action.
He added that the committee would fashion out safe policing strategies in line with the requests from the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, who was present at the meeting.
On his part, Mr Idris reiterated his call for the support of Nigerians and state governments to tackle the issues of insecurity across the country.
He noted that discussions with the governors were favorable and that the recent reinforcements of the military in Southern Kaduna might not be new, but would further strengthen security in the region.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has commiserated with the people of Akwa Ibom State on the recent collapse of Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital which led to the death of some worshippers.
The incident occurred during the bishopric ordination of its General Overseer, Apostle Akan Weeks.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari delivered the message when he led the forum’s delegation on visit to Governor Udom Emmanuel at his country home, Onna.
Governor Yari was accompanied on the visit by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his Kebbi state counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu.
He said that they were in Onna to commiserate with the Governor, the government and people of Akwa Ibom state on the unfortunate collapse of the church building with the governor in attendance.
Yari thanked God for sparing the Governor’s life and commended him for personally supervising rescue operation at the scene of the incident.
The forum also acknowledged the contributions of Governor Emmanuel to efforts aimed at managing the current economic recession in the country.
Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked the delegation for the visit and commended its leadership for the existing bond of unity among the governors in spite of political differences.
He disclosed that his administration has done everything necessary to ensure that victims of the church building collapse receive the best treatment possible for quick recovery.
The Governor assured his colleagues that he remained focused and determined to make life better for the generality of the people in spite of the incident.
The visit was remarkable as the three visiting governors belong to APC while their host belongs to PDP.
The Northern States Governors Forum and the General Electric International, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of five solar plants, aimed at generating 500 megawatts of electricity in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, signed the agreement on behalf of the governors while General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, signed on behalf of their company, in a brief ceremony which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Based on the MoU, General Electric which has 120 years of experience in power generation, is expected to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States.
Each of the plants is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, totaling 500 megawatts across the five states.
The electricity, according to them would stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected states through boosting agricultural food processing and small scale businesses, in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.
The project which is in its pilot phase, is being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-integration Programme, newly created by the northern governors, to serve as vehicle for the economic recovery of northern states.
This is to be achieved through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, stimulating the agricultural value chain and trade, so as to make the region a global player in agricultural exports, which would be in line with the vision of late premier of the region.
The governors’ forum led by Mr Shettima, engaged the services of Malam Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi as Cheif Executive Officer of the Programme.
Kurfi was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and has wide contact with leading development companies and financial institutions across the world.
“The 19 Governors of the north jointly created this approach – we want to go beyond lamentation, to provide solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development.
“With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people.
“The General Electric has over 120 years of experience in energy solutions and they have been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, we cannot have a better partner than GE.
“We shall do our part as governors, this I will assure you. We are deeply committed to this agreement” the governor said at the MoU signing ceremony.
The Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman enumerated challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare, among other under-development indicators threatening the north, while concluding that power can provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.
Kurfi on the other hand, said he took up the challenge put forward by the northern governors, as a result of strong passion and commitment to aggressive development of the north, so far shown by the governors since Shettima became the forum’s chairman in 2015.
Re-affirming their commitment to the MoU, General Electric’s Pineda and Angbazo, both pledged that they would work round the clock to realize the project for the benefits of citizens of the five States.
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not hide anything from Nigerians in its resolute commitment to restoring the economic fortunes of the country and delivering prosperity to her citizens.
The President said this while receiving the Northern Christian Leaders Eagles Eyes Forum at the State House in Abuja on Friday.
According to his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President appealed to the religious leaders not to lose hope in the unity, stability and progress of the country.
President Buhari noted that the Federal Government would continue to prioritise the safety of lives and property.
Truth About Nigeria
He added that the government would also equip Nigerian farmers with the right tools, technology and techniques to boost agriculture.
“You must tell your followers the truth about the country. We have nothing to hide because we have no other country but Nigeria.
“Tell them to give us a chance to stabilise the country. Your concern for the security, unemployment, anti-corruption campaign and the frequent altercations between herdsmen and farmers are genuine concerns.
“I know the Ministry of Agriculture and the Governors Forum are doing a lot to resolve the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers, we must give them a chance,” he said.
The President also thanked the Christian leaders for their support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption campaign and other policies geared towards reviving the economy.
“It is saddening that some of those who stole from our national resources put the money in their personal accounts.
“However, it is gratifying that those who stole money and shared funds meant for the purchase of arms for our military are regretting their actions and they will regret more.
“Those caught in corruption will have themselves to blame,” he said.
In his remarks, leader of the Forum, Pastor Aminchi Habu, called on Nigerians to support the President’s anti-corruption war and his vision to restore the lost glory of Nigeria.
“In your administration, I see a new Nigeria where the fear of bribery, corruption and extortion is the beginning of wisdom.
“I see a new Nigeria, where tribalism, religion and ethnicity is no longer a barrier that separates us but a bond that unites us for a greater tomorrow,” he said.