We Are Trying To Avoid Second Wave Of #EndSARS Protest – Chairman Northern Govs Forum

Group photo of the Northern leaders during the meeting which was held on Monday in Kaduna State.

 

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum says hands are on deck to engage Nigerian youths and avoid a second wave of #EndSARS Protest.

Simon Lalong who is also the state governor of Plateau disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television on Monday. He said the plan to avoid the reoccurrence of #EndSARS protest was agreed upon after a meeting by northern leaders including state governors, traditional leaders, and northern political leaders.

“We came out of the meeting with very useful suggestions and a communique.

“In that meeting, we all agreed to go back and continue engagement particularly addressing issues from #EndSARS because we are also trying to avoid the second wave of #EndSARS.

“We want to address some of those issues that are on ground, to prevail on people not to engage in destructions. Because the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums which led to several destructions,” he said.

Lalong speaking further on deliberations from the meeting said although #EndSARS protests is not wrong, but was hijacked by demonstrators targeting regime change.

“Nobody is saying that initially, the protest was wrong. But the fact that it was hijacked by hoodlums to destroy public and private properties was a matter of great concern.

“What we are trying to do is to get back to the drawing board and close the communication gap between the leaders and the led. So that there will be no  #EndSARS again.

“So, what we intend to do is to provide opportunities by engaging the youths so that they will be taken off the streets,” Lalong said.

Nigerian, especially youths calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force began protests on October 8. The protests were held in major cities and lasted for two weeks.

Northern leaders after their meeting on Monday condemned the protests describing it as an agenda for regime change.

The governors also called for control of social media.

Northern Governors Forum Calls For Investigation Into Mailafia’s Allegations

former Central Bank Deputy Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia briefing newsmen after his release from the DSS custody on August 12, 2020

 

The Northern Governors Forum has called on security agencies to investigate the allegation by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.

Dr Mailafia alleged that one of the Northern Governors is the Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

In a statement, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong, said the Forum is concerned about the weighty allegation made by Dr. Mailafiya which must be thoroughly investigated.

He said the Forum which has been working with the Federal Government, security agencies, community, civil society, traditional and religious leaders as well as development partners to defeat terrorism, banditry and other forms of crimes in the region, finds the allegation by Dr. Mailafiya very weighty which deserves further investigation.

“We as Northern Governors have met severally to discuss insecurity in the Northern Region and the nation at large where we did not only condemn the activities of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals but also engaged the President and all heads of security agencies in finding solutions to the problem.

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

“To now say that one of our members is leading Boko Haram in Nigeria is a serious allegation that cannot be swept under the carpet. We demand an immediate and thorough investigation”.

He also urged Dr. Mailafiya and indeed all citizens with useful information on the activities of criminals and terrorist groups to assist security agencies and the governments at all levels with such intelligence for proper action.

The Governor also hoped that such allegations are not smeared campaigns or attempt to discourage the Northern Governors who are putting in their best to bring an end to insecurity in the region.

He reiterated that the Forum does not, and will not support the activities of any criminal group, because they as Governors and their families are not spared as was recently witnessed when the convoy of Governor Babagana Zullum of Borno State was attacked.

Northern Governors Frown At Persistent Attacks In Southern Kaduna

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

The Northern Governors Forum has condemned the recent attack in Southern Kaduna in which about 22 persons were reportedly killed on Wednesday night, as yet to be arrested gunmen attacked four Atyap villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.

In a statement, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong said the persistent attacks on villages in the area despite all efforts by the Kaduna State Government and security agencies to end the violence raises serious concern and condemnation.

Lalong said this recent attack where the Atyab villages were affected shows the desperate attempt by criminal elements to not only cause pain and sorrow among innocent citizens but also frustrate the efforts of the Kaduna State Government at fostering peace and harmony.

He said “we are deeply saddened by this cycle of violence and blood-letting that is carried out against unarmed and helpless people. This is reprehensible and regrettable. While we call on the security agencies to rise up to the occasion and apprehend these criminals, we also encourage the citizens to assist with relevant intelligence that will lead to the arrest of these bloodthirsty people”.

Governor Lalong also said that the Northern Governors Forum maintains its position that any group or individual that is aggrieved for whatsoever reason should seek redress through official channels than resort to self-help which only exacerbates crises and instability.

The Northern Governors Forum commiserated with the victims of the crises and the Government of Kaduna State, pledging its support to Governor Nasir El-rufai as he works with all stakeholders to bring the incessant crises to an end.

Northern Governors Forum Condemn ‘Callous’ Attack On Zulum’s Convoy

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

The Northern Governors Forum has condemned the attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, describing the act as callous and reprehensible.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong in a statement said the attack on Governor Zulum’s convoy who was on his way to Baga, a commercial town in Kukawa Local Government Area to personally distribute relief materials to internally displaced persons for the Sallah celebrations was another desperate attempt by criminal elements to sabotage the efforts of the governor towards reducing the suffering of vulnerable people who have been traumatized by terrorists.

Governor Lalong said “This regrettable attack shows the desperation by enemies of peace and humanity at large to jeopardize all efforts towards making life easier for victims of violence in the state over the years.

“The Northern Governors Forum strongly condemns this attack and stands with Governor Zulum who has demonstrated courage in personally reaching out to people in need despite the dangers. We urge him not to deterred as he keeps working with security agencies to protect the lives and properties of the people”.

In another development, the Northern Governors Forum has mourned the death of elder statesman and leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi.

Governor Lalong in a condolence message on behalf of the Forum described the death of the elder statesman as a great loss to the Yoruba nation and Nigeria as a whole giving his enormous contributions to the political development of Nigeria.

Lalong said Pa Fasanmi played an active role in the enthronement of democracy and its sustenance through his roles as a legislator in the first and second Republics where he advocated for good governance, justice, and equity.

While praying God to grant his soul eternal rest, he condoled with his family, friends, political associates, and followers.

Northern Governors Meet To Chart New Course For The Region

 

Governors of the nineteen northern states are meeting in Kaduna today to discuss issues that affect the region and chart the way forward .

At the meeting which is holding at the Kaduna State government house, the governors are expected to discuss issues of insecurity, economic growth, regional integration, poverty, educational problems among other challenges ravaging the northern region.

In attendance so far, are the Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Governors of Nasarawa and Jigawa States as well as the Deputy Governors of Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi and Benue States

The Northern States Governors Forum is chaired by the Plateau State governor, Mr Simon Lalong who was elected during their meeting early this year.

In his opening remarks before the meeting went into close door, Mr Lalong, said the meeting was summoned for the Governors to deliberate and take a common position on the issue of livestock management in the country, which he notes, has generated controversy, misinformation and politicization among various stakeholders, as well as to develop best ways of keying into the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation plan.

Mr Lalong notes that as a region that holds comparative advantage in livestock management as an economic and socio-cultural vocation, there is need for the north to come up with a common position on Livestock management, which he says will provide a conducive environment for nomadic herdsmen and also bring a lasting solution to the incessant farmer/herder clashes in the country

Simon Lalong Emerges Chairman Of Northern Governors Forum

Plateau Governor Simon Lalong Re-Elected For A Second Term
A file photo of Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has emerged chairman of the Northern Governors Forum for another four years.

He was elected by his colleagues during the meeting of the Northern Governors Forum which held in Kaduna on Friday.

At the meeting which is the forum’s first of the year, the governors also agreed to set up a joint financial institution that will galvanize rapid socio-economic development within the region and enable it attain some degree of financial independence.

READ ALSO: Northern Governors To Meet Buhari Over Insecurity In Region

The governors also resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the security challenges in the region.

The meeting of the northern governors which later went into closed door, is expected to receive briefing on the security situation across states as well as submissions from officials of the northern Nigerian development company on the successes made in the areas of oil exploration in the lake chad basin, as well as reviving the collapsed Kaduna textile factory owned by the 19 northern states.

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.

Northern Governors Chide Persons Blaming Buhari For Nimbo Attack

Northern Governors forumThe Northern Governors Forum has condemned in strong terms attempts by some leaders from south-east Nigeria to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for a recent bloody attack on Ukpabi Nimbo community in Enugu State.

They also condemned an attempt to link Fulani herdsmen with the attack that left scores of people dead or similar attacks at other part of Nigeria.

In a communique read to reporters by the chairman of the forum and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, after a closed door meeting that lasted for over five hours, in Kaduna, the governors noted the danger of labeling the masterminds of the Enugu attack as Fulani herdsmen on account of religion or tribe.

The governors while condemning the recent attacks in Agatu community in Benue State and that of Enugu State, called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the attack in order to stop the dangerous generalisation or labelling certain tribe or people of certain faith as responsible for the attacks.

According to the Northern Governors Forum, linking the gunmen attacks to Fulani herdsmen, could cause mistrust and likely incite people of different tribes and faith who have lived together peacefully for decades.

The governors also supported the idea of building ranches and grazing routes for herdsmen, as a long term measure to address the frequent clashes between them and local farmers.

Critics had raised concerns over President Buhari’s silence on the alleged herdsmen attacks.

‘A Priority’

But the President on Wednesday reassured Nigerians of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.

According to a statement by President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President unreservedly condemned the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.

President Buhari, however, instructed the Nigerian Armed Forces and Police to take all necessary action to stop the killing, saying that ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons had become a priority on the government’s agenda for enhanced national security.

After the President issued the statement, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, faulted Buhari’s assurances and said it was unacceptable, as it failed to provide any reassurance for Nigerians.

“Neither, however, could be considered a message of solace and reassurance for the ordinary Nigerian farmer and the lengthening cast of victims, much less to an intending tourist to the Forest Retreat of Tinana in the Rivers, the Ikogosi Springs or the Moslem architectural heritage of the ancient city of Kano. In any case, the external tourists have less hazardous options,” Professor Soyinka stressed.

Professor Soyinka spoke at the National Conference on Culture and Tourism, in Osogbo, Osun State.

Northern Governors’ Wives Donate Relief Items To IDPs In Nasarawa State

internally-displaced-persons-NEMAWifes of Northern Governors Forum on Wednesday donated relief materials to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nasarawa State.

Addressing the governors’ wives, the Governor of the State, Mr Tanko Al-makura,pledge to compliment the social responsibility efforts of the women.

The forum, which met with the Governor at the Government House in Lafia was led by its chairperson, Miss Yemisi Suswam.

Mr Al-makura and the wives of northern governors said they share the pains of IDPs across the country, stressing the need for such donation which was done in Benue and Borno state to be sustained.

The governor and his guest share the same thought on how to alleviate the plight of IDPs across the state and other parts of Nigeria.

Making the presentation of the relief materials worth millions of naira to the governor for onward distribution to IDPs the state, Miss Yemisi Suswam, called for inclusive effort in addressing insecurity in the north-east.

The wives of northern governors’ forum had last year began a social responsibility programme of reaching out to IDPs across Nigeria and Nasarawa state is the third to benefit from the gesture.

Northern Governors Urge Christians To Pray For Nigeria

Muazu-Babangida-Aliyu1

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has called on Christian faithful to use the opportunity of Easter celebrations to pray for the quick resolution of the security challenges confronting the nation.

In a statement, the chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Muazu Aliyu,  called on Nigerians to be mindful of the need to continue to work for peace which underscores the essence of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The forum also urged Christians to imbibe the ideals of perseverance, sacrifice and commitment to the will of God which characterised the Lenten season.

The forum then congratulated Christians and all Nigerians who are alive to witness 2014’s Easter, reminding the faithful that “we are alive today only by God’s grace and favor and not that; we are in any way special before the almighty.”

The statement reiterated the need for Nigerians to pray for and work towards peace, stability and progress of Nigeria. It also emphasised the need for Nigerians to support their leaders at all levels for the benefit of all.

He wished Nigerians a memorable Easter celebrations.

Nothern Governors Advocate National Grazing Route And Reserve

The Northern Governors’ Forum has urged the Federal Government to establish the national grazing route and reserve for cattle rearers in other to end the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers in some states in the region. 

This was part of the fallout of its meeting held in Kaduna on Monday.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, said that a national policy for nomads is the best global practice to curb incessant fight among cattle rearers and farmers.

The Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suzwam, told journalists that his government was working seriously with his counterparts in Nasarawa and Taraba states to address the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers and urged the National Assembly to pass the National Grazing Reserve Bill.

Governor Aliyu, also speaking about the spate of attacks by the Boko Haram sect in the Northern region, particularly in Borno State said, “The situation has gone beyond the normal pattern that we gave to Boko Haram and I think we need to really appreciate the gravity of the situation.

“It appears that we are becoming a little callous that we don’t seem to care much about what is happening. We must continue to encourage the Federal Government to really do what it is supposed to do.”