COVID-19: Why We Cannot Lockdown North – Northern Governors

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.


The Northern Governors’ Forum has met over the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for a coordinated response to tackle the virus in the region.

Chairman of the forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong chaired the meeting via a teleconference.

The governors met on Monday to discuss the impact of the virus in the region, stressing that they cannot lock down the entire north.

In a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to Plateau Governor, Simon Macham, members of the Forum resolved to strengthen preventive measures against the pandemic.

Part of these measures include enhanced border controls and surveillance as well as greater collaboration to ensure that there is synergy among them in movement restriction.

While noting that the lockdown in some states in the region had varying levels of success, the governors also raised concerns that enforcing cross-border movements remains a challenge as some of the cases recorded in some states were imported from outside despite the closure of borders by their respective governments.

They agreed that each state would adopt the measure suitable to its setting, stressing that a total lockdown of the region will come at a very high cost since most of its citizens are farmers who need to go to farms as the rains have started.

Regarding palliatives from the Federal Government, the northern leaders regretted that so far, no state in the region has received a dime as special allocation.

They argued that some states have recorded coronavirus cases while others are making frantic efforts to prevent any outbreak as well as prepare against any eventuality.

Lamenting that the virus has caused a huge financial burden on them, the governors believe that they may not be able to sustain this for a long time.

They resolved that Governor Lalong will liaise with the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the private sector to benefit from available palliatives and donations.

As for testing centres, the governors complained that the region has no testing centres, which to them is very disturbing.

Moving forward, they resolved to again liaise with the Federal Government to ensure that each state at least gets one testing centre while highly populated ones get two.

Northern Governors Adopt FG’s Livestock Transformation Plan

Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.



Governors of the 19 Northern States have adopted the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan.

The governors also resolved to implement the entire roadmap of the plan in all member-states.

They made the resolution during an emergency meeting of the Northern Governors Forum which held on Thursday at the Government House in Kaduna State.

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Chairman of the forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, disclosed this to reporters at the end of the meeting which lasted several hours.

Governor Lalong explained that the forum adopted the plan with hopes that it would address both economic and security challenges posed by the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers in the country.

He also called on state governments that were not included in the pilot scheme of the plan to key into it.

The increasing clashes between farmers and herders have recently become worrisome especially in wetland areas of the middle belt, north-central, and southern part of the country.

Violent conflicts between the two parties who are prominent stakeholders in the country’s agricultural sector have escalated in recent times and spreading southwards, thereby threatening Nigeria’s security and stability.

As part of the Federal Government efforts to tackling the crisis, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, inaugurated the National Livestock Transformation Plan On Tuesday at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

The government believes the plan, which is to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara, will develop Nigeria’s livestock sector and also reduce the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers.

With the launching of the programme in Adamawa, the governors at Thursday’s meeting noted that that the stage is set for all northern states to key into it.

Although the resolution of the meeting sounded unanimous, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, said his state would only implement the plan if its conforms with the Benue laws on ranching of animals and the anti-open grazing laws.

IGP, Northern Govs Meet In Katsina Over Insecurity

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Wednesday led a team of senior police officers to a meeting with northern governors.

According to the IGP, the meeting is part of efforts aimed at tackling security challenges being witnessed in parts of the country.

The IGP at the commencement of the meeting said it is aimed at coordinating the activities of the Nigerian Police Force with a view to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the North-Western parts of the country.

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He described the meeting as one of the initiatives of the Nigeria Police aimed at ending killings, kidnappings and other security challenges in the country.

Governors of Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states are in attendance at the meeting. Also, governors of Taraba, Plateau and Niger states are also expected at the meeting.

Before the meeting went into a closed-door, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State commended the initiative, adding that all the governors are fully aware of their responsibility in securing the lives and property of their people.

Also present at meeting are deputy inspectors general of police, commissioners of police, the commander of the 17 brigade, Katsina State, as well as leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACAN).

Earlier in his address of welcome, Governor Masari commended the initiative of the Inspector General of police reminding him that all the governors are fully aware of their responsibility in securing the lives and property of their people.

The meeting later went into closed doors.

Dapchi Abduction: Northern Governors Vow To Tackle Insecurity Within Region

The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, has said that their primary responsibility as leaders is to take a serious look at the security challenges in the region.

Shettima who is also the governor of Borno State said that the forum will not only look into the situation but come up with implementable ways and means on how to address them.

This follows the recent abduction of the Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi which has led to serval calls from the President Muhammadu Buhari, United Nations and serval other concerned Nigerians demanding their rescue.

Governor Shettima condemned the recent abduction and noted that various steps have been taken by the Federal Government to ensure the girls return safely.

The governor made this known during the meeting of the northern governors on Thursday in Kaduna.

He said the forum will deliberate on the causes of various conflicts in the region and their seemingly intractable nature with an open and unbiased mind.

Northern Governors Meet In Kaduna Over Security, Poverty, Others

The northern governors from nineteen states are meeting in Kaduna to discuss issues affecting the region.

These issues include security challenges, poverty, economy, educational development amongst others.

The governors on Thursday arrived at the Government House in Kaduna, the venue for the meeting.

Present at the meeting are the governors of Borno, Kaduna, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Katsina and Deputy Governors of Benue, Kwara, and Kaduna.

Submission and deliberation of the interim report on restructuring, lingering farmers and herdsmen clash in several parts of the country.

Also, the recent abduction of the schoolgirls from Dapchi, in Yobe State.

Buhari Meets With Three Northern Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a meeting the three governors from the Northern region of the country.

The governors include Yobe State Ibrahim Geidam, Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal and Jigawa State, Badaru Abubakar.

Pictures Below…


Oyigbo Attack: Northern Governors Commend Wike’s Move In Restoring Peace

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike for taking urgent steps in protecting the lives of Nigerians in the state.

The governor made this known when he led a delegation of the Northern Governors Forum comprising of the Governors of Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari, Sokoto, Aminu Waziri, Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu and Plateau, Simon Lalong.

Governor Shettima said that the Northern Governors were in Rivers State to identify with Governor Wike and commend the governor for nipping the unfortunate conflict that erupted in Oyigbo Local Government Area.

The Northern Governors Forum said that the actions of Governor Wike, especially his state-wide broadcast helped to restore peace, despite the challenges.

“Governor Wike we are mightily proud of you. We are mightily associating ourselves with you. Nigeria is greater than political differences. We belong to one political family and that is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“No interest should be bigger than the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You believe in the Nigerian Project. For that, we remain eternally grateful “.

The Northern Governors Forum called for the enthronement of Peacebuilding measures despite the challenges facing the country.

According to the Northern Governors Forum, no law-abiding Nigerians deserve to be punished because of where they reside and do business.

Governor Shettima said despite the unfortunate incidents in Abia, steps have been taken to ensure that there are no retaliatory attacks in different parts of the country.

In his response, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike declared that he will continue to protect all Nigerians and foreigners living in the state.

“Rivers State believes in the unity of this country. Rivers State will not be a part of those calling for the disintegration of Nigeria. We owe it as a duty to protect every Nigerian living in the state.

“I will not allow any group intimidate, harass or attack other Nigerians living in the state. We are Rivers people and we belong to the Niger Delta “.

While stating that violence can never lead to the resolution of any grievances, Governor Wike urged those who are aggrieved to embrace dialogue in the interest of Peace and development.

“I am not against anyone who wants to protest any grievance, but there are channels for such protests”, he said.

Governor Wike added that the people of Rivers State have their own peculiar grievances against developmental issues in the country. He pointed out that as a Governor, he has raised such issues, but will never support the disintegration.

Okorocha Hosts Northern Governors In Imo

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Monday hosted some members of the Northern Governors Forum who paid him a solidarity visit.

The governors, who were received at the Government House in Owerri, were led on the visit by the chairman of the forum and Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima.

Among the northern governors that made the visit are Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Sani of Niger State, and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State among others.

See photos below;

Shettima, Northern Governors Visit Ikpeazu In Abia

Six northern Governors led by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, on Monday visited Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in Abia State.

Among the northern governors that made the solidarity visit are Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Sani of Niger State, and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

See photos of the visit below;

Northern Governors Seek Traditional Rulers’ Support On Development

Northern Governors Seek Traditional Rulers' Support On Development

Governors of the 19 Northern States have met with traditional rulers in the region to discuss the issues of insecurity and other socio-economic challenges.

The meeting, which held on Thursday in Kaduna State, was convened to deliberate and find lasting solutions to the myriad of socio-economic and political problems besetting the region and welfare of the people.

It was declared open by Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State on behalf of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

Governor Masari noted that the meeting had become crucial because of the fundamental debate bordering on Nigeria’s restructuring, farmers and herdsmen clashes, educational backwardness, pervasive poverty and underdevelopment as well as persistent insecurity of Northern Nigeria.

The governors and traditional rulers reiterated their disapproval of the ultimatum given to Igbos by a coalition of norther youth groups to vacate the region by October 1.

They, however, criticised the agitation for secession made by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and call on relevant authorities and Igbo leaders to call the agitators to order.

On his part, the host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai briefed the leaders on the security challenges in the region and sought for a joint effort to address the problems.

The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, Abubakar Saad, said the Council has been very proactive in resolving the dust raised by the ultimatum issued to Igbos in the region.

He, however, expressed worry over the rate of frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the region and Nigeria in general.

The meeting had in attendance, governors of Kaduna, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Jigawa, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Katsina states, as well as deputy governors of Kogi and Niger states.

Also present are Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Etsu Nupe, Shehu of Borno, Attah Igala, Lamido Adamawa and Tor Tiv among other traditional rulers.


Northern Governors Condemn Youth Groups For Threatening Igbos

Northern Governors Condemn Youth Groups For Threatening IgbosThe Northern Governors’ Forum has condemned statements credited to a group of northern youths asking Igbos to vacate the north in the next three months.

Chairman of the Forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, described the comments as unfortunate and irresponsible.

“On behalf of the governor of the 19 northern states, we totally condemn such irresponsible pronouncements by those groups and we condemn, we disown and we are totally distancing ourselves from the pronouncements of those faceless groups who do not have the mandate of the people of northern Nigeria to make such loud pronouncements,” Shettima stated.

He pointed out that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 41 subsection 1 was very explicit on allowing Nigerians to reside in any part of the country without any hindrance whatsoever.

“But when you see a toad dancing in the broad daylight, the drummer is not far from the main road. So I wish to call on the security agencies to beam their lenses on these groups and unearth the faces behind the mask,” the governor added.

The northern governors insisted that they do not recognise the group which they described as “a bunch of groups that do not have the mandate of the people coming out to stick up the embers of division and disunity”.

“The governors of northern Nigeria are not in alignment with those people and we will take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens living in any part of the north.

“I am in contact with most of my colleagues and they are all talking to security establishments in their respective doornails because we cannot afford to take chances.

“Among them, there is no even an elected councillor; they are nonentities gasping for breath for relevance for whatever reason but we can’t afford to toy with the destiny of this country.

“I wish to call on our brothers of Igbo descent to remain calm and go about pursuing their legitimate businesses. Nobody can dare to intimidate them, harass or dehumanise them,” Shettima told journalists on Wednesday.

Northern Governors Sign Pact With Catholic Mission To Revive Education

The Northern Governors Forum has signed a pact with the Catholic Mission for the revival of education in northern Nigeria.

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Governor Kashim Shetima of Borno State described the agreement as a major step towards ridding the region of poverty and illiteracy.

According to him, the North has an unacceptable statistics of out-of-school children, as a result of the high poverty rate in the region.

The United Nations Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, statistics show that there are over 14 million out-of-school children in northern Nigeria alone.

The situation is further worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency, which unleashed terror on school children, especially in North-Eastern Nigeria.

At the signing of the education revival agreement with the northern governors in Abuja, the representative of the Catholic Mission said the project would also help the government to win the war terrorism in the northeast.

“Proper education of the children and the youth is of utmost importance for the world and especially in this region. We can’t beat Boko Haram with arms but we know that it would be fully defeated when the children of northern Nigeria have proper access to education,” said Prof. Jan de colder, the representative for EU and Nigeria, Sant’Egidio.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum said the agreement would address poverty which he said characterises the region.

He said, “The Northern governors are particularly touched with this intervention because we believe most of the problems of the North are as a result of low literacy rate and high poverty levels. Of course, the low literacy rate is responsible for the high poverty levels and what we need is to make our educational institutions functional, qualitative and accessible.”

On his part, the Bishop of Sokoto State, Reverend Matthew Kukah appealed to governors from the northern region to ensure the pact signed is implemented.

Reverend Kukah said, “A lot of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the Governors Forum. The Nigerian Governors Forum will have to take this burden off us to make sure that this project sails very smoothly.”

The education revival agreement is targeting the equipment of schools in the north with e-learning facilities that will help pupils connect and share ideas with their mates from other parts of the world.