Northern Governors, Traditional Rulers Discuss Insecurity, Economy

APC GovernorsGovernors of Nigeria’s 19 northern States are meeting with traditional rulers from the region to discuss problems of insecurity and other socio-economic challenges confronting.

The two-day meeting is to deliberate and find lasting solutions to the myriad of socio-economic and political problems besetting the region and which have direct bearing on the well-being and welfare of their people.

Declaring the meeting open, the Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, said the meeting with traditional rulers had become crucial because of the fundamental debate bordering on the educational backwardness, pervasive poverty and underdevelopment as well as persistent insecurity of northern Nigeria.

Lack Of Education

He expressed regrets that the north, despite being blessed with promising geographical space, huge solid minerals and rich in GDP, the region had remained poor and reduced to the laughing stock of the world.

While he identified poverty, illiteracy and severed limited economic opportunities as some of the underlying causes of insurgency, rural armed banditry, cattle rustling, ethnic and religious conflicts in the region, Governor Shettima expressed optimism that the meeting would come out with practicable recommendations that would help the respective states to solve their peculiar problems.

One major issue the governors identified as a factor militating against development of the region was lack of education for the girl child and the need for all leaders to join hands to ensure that education is given much attention in the region.

The host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, also briefed the meeting about the security challenges in the southern part of the state and sought the collaboration and support of his colleagues and traditional rulers to address the problem.

The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Alhaji Abubakar Saad, expressed worries with the rate of violence in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the north, which he alleged were fuelled by religious leaders.

At the meeting were governors of Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger, Taraba, Plateau and Sokoto. Also present were elder statesmen and chairman of Northern Elders Forum, Mr Maitama Sule, Paul Unongo and President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima.

The President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, also expects the meeting to address the issue of indigene and settler dichotomy which he says has been a major cause of conflict in Southern Kaduna and some other parts of the northern region.

Stakeholders expect that a gathering of some of these key leaders of the North is more than able to provide solutions to their problems.

As the meeting enters into closed door session, they want the governors to march their talk with action at the end of the day.

Kaduna Relaxes Curfew In Two Local Councils

military-curfewThe Kaduna State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed last December on Jema’a and Zangon-Kataf Local Government Areas of the state with immediate effect.

A statement issued by the spokesman for the governor, Samuel Aruwan, at the end of the State Security Council meeting, said improvements in the security situation in the two local government areas informed the decision to relax the curfew.

However, the Council said the 24-hour curfew remained effective in Kaura Local Government Area.

The statement read: “The decision to relax the curfew in Jema’a and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas and its continuation in Kaura Local Government Area was unanimously taken after deliberation and review of security situation in the three local government areas and the entire state.

“Security agencies have also been empowered to arrest individuals and groups found violating the curfew.

“The Security Council urges security operatives to ensure enforcement using best practices”.

The curfew in Jema’a and Zangon Kataf local government areas is now for 12 hours daily, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time.

Fulanis From Foreign Lands

Medical and health personnel carrying out essential services are exempted from the curfew which was imposed in December 2016, after repeated attacks on communities in the area.

The Kaduna State Security Council is chaired by Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai and its members include the Deputy Governor, Mr Barnabas Bala, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, Director of the Department of State Services, Mohammed Wakili and Brigadier General I. Isa, Garrison Commander, One Division Garrison, Nigerian Army.

Others are Rear Admiral TT Dakwat, Commandant Nigerian Navy School of Armament, Kachia and AVM Bello Garba, Base Commander, Nigerian Air Force, Kaduna.

The governor of the state Nasir El-Rufai had said that the perpetrators of the attacks were Fulanis from foreign lands taking vengeance for their kins killed years ago.

Many Feared Dead In Taraba Ethnic Clash

plateau_violence_mainAn unconfirmed number of persons have been killed and many still missing in an ethnic clash between Tivs and Fulanis in Taraba State.

The clash occurred in Sabon Gidan village of Dan Anacha town in the northern Nigerian state.

Although the spokesman for the police in the state, David Misal, could not confirm the number of persons killed, there were reports that over 20 persons may have been killed.

Mr Misal told Channels Television that the police had deployed officials to the area to restore peace and said he would give more information about the crisis afterwards.

Sources claim the crisis started on Saturday when two corpses of Fulanis were found killed in a bush. The situation, thereafter, triggered reprisal attacks on Tivs.

Northern Governors Consider Practical Approach To End Insecurity

Governor Kassim Shettima said political leadership of the northern states seem poised to reverse the negative trends

The governors of the 19 northern states in Nigeria on Friday considered practical and integrated regional approach to combat the Boko Haram insurgency and other challenges facing the region.

At a meeting in Kaduna the governors resolved to deal decisively with the problems to ensure the development of the region that had faced over five years of terror attacks.

The meeting held behind closed doors at the General Hassan Usman Katsina State House. It had in attendance governors of Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Borno, Zamfara, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Bauchi and deputy governors of Kogi and Kwara among others.

Good Governance

Addressing reporters before the closed door meeting started, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Mr Kassim Shettima, expressed the urgent need for the northern leaders to adopt far-reaching strategies in tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy, Boko Haram insurgency and other criminal elements in the region.

He urged the governors to come up with a common agenda for the speedy transformation of the north and the country in general.

While lamenting the failure of the present crop of leaders to sustain the legacies of the founding fathers of the northern region, Governor Shettima said the leaders must act fast to reverse the negative fortunes of the people of the region.

According to him, “no amount of lamentation will solve the devastation in the region”, except for the leaders to rise up and live up to the expectations of the people through good governance.

Some other governors at the meeting gave an assurance of their commitment to ensuring an end to insurgency and pledged to redevelop the region that has been devastated by acts of terrorism.

Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, some other states are battling to contain the activities of cattle rustlers, who have had several clashes with farmers.

This is the first meeting since Governor Shettima was elected to chair the forum.

Beyond the assurances made by the governors, what is expected now is for them to hit the ground running and bring about the needed change to their respective states.

Nigeria Reviewing National Defence Policy To Tackle Terrorism

Nigeria_Military_Meeting_on_new_Strategy_for_Boko_HaramThe Nigerian government is reviewing its National Defence Policy to cope with the threats of extremism and terrorism, a government official said on Monday.

Delivering a speech at the 2014 Annual Defence Attache Conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau (Rtd), told military personnel that the emerging global and local security landscape had made it imperative for Nigeria to overhaul its security and defence architecture.

The Minister further stressed that the National Defence Policy review would touch on training of personnel, military equipment overhaul, intelligence gathering and other relevant areas that would help the military tackle insurgency in the north-east.

“It is time for Nigeria to re-strategise and bridge the intelligence gap in tackling terrorism.

“Nigeria should re-engineer her defence and security posture to cope with the threats,” he said.

After Monday’s meeting, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Rear Admiral Gabrial Okoi, told reporters that the military would continue to re-strategise and explore better ways of carrying out their duties.

Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investment Is Over $20bn – Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria’s foreign direct investment has risen to over $20 billion in the last three years, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said.

At a press conference in Abuja on the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to be held in Nigeria, the minister assured Nigerians that the insecurity in the north eastern part of the country had not reduced foreign direct investment.

“In spite of the success, the government is taking steps to solve problems of unemployment and poor infrastructure,” she said.

Vast Natural Resources

The minister explained that the Nigerian government was confronted with the challenge of how to put into positive use its vast human and natural resources to ensure that the lives of the citizens improved.

In recent times, insecurity in the north eastern part of Nigeria has become a subject of concern especially how it affects foreign direct investment.

With an improved political stability and economic outlook such as single digit inflation rate, Nigeria’s hosting of the World Economic Forum on Africa is expected to showcase the nation’s vast natural resources for investment to members of the international community.



Youth Leader sustains Sultan’s comments on Insecurity

The National Secretary General of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Ahmed Sule has affirmed the comments made by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar that the Northern leaders were responsible for the insecurity and suffering in the region.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Sule said the admission by the Sultan was a good sign.
The Sultan had on Monday blamed the North for the present insecurity in the region.

On how the northern leaders would receive the Sultan’s comment, Mr Sule said they have no option but to accept the statement as the fact.

“They knew, everybody from the leadership to the ordinary man on the street knows that the problem is created by the Northern leadership,” he said.

He however said realizing the source of the problem is different from admitting responsibility for the problem insisting that the leaders may not want to be held accountable for the problems in the North.