Governors of the 19 Northern states, under the aegis of Northern States Governors’ Forum, (NSGF) are currently meeting in Kaduna to address the lingering farmers /herders clashes in the region.
Speaking at the opening session of the meeting holding at the Kaduna Government House, State state Governor, Kashim Shettima who is also the Chairman of the Forum called on his colleagues to look at the issues dispassionately as with a view to arriving at genuine solutions.
Shettima also disclosed that the forum will receive the report of restructuring committee headed by Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, saying that the region like other regions will come up with a position on the vex issue like other regions.
He said “top on the agenda of today’s meeting is the issue of the lingering inter-communal crisis in various parts of the region, which in recent times, appear to be escalating with deadly and destructive consequences such as the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
“As elected leaders, it is our primary responsibility to take a hard and critical look at these conflicts and come up with implementable ways and means of addressing them squarely. It is also critically important, as a long term measure, device viable strategies to forestall all forms of security challenges, that may likely erupt in the future”.
He however said, “I need to emphasize that whatever resolutions we may arrive at, should be without prejudice to the various commendable and comprehensive measures being put in place by the Federal Government in addressing the security challenges; especially the recent abduction of the Dapchi School Girls.
“We appreciate and commend the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Dapchi crisis by ensuring the deployment of all necessary security personnel and equipment towards the rescue of the abducted girls.
“Similarly, in the last few days, Taraba and Kaduna States have again experienced spates of deadly and destructive communal clashes which culminated in the loss of many lives and destruction of millions of naira worth of property.
“Although the security agencies have responded positively and are now on top of the situation, we, as a Forum, need to pay particular attention to the root causes of such conflicts and their seemingly intractable nature with an open mind and from an unbiased perspective, in order to arrive at comprehensive means of addressing them. We should, in the process, also avoid inputting political, ethnic or religious colorations to the conflict”.
On the issue of restructuring, Shettima said, “sequel to a resolution of the Forum, a special Committee was set up to solicit the views and comments of various, groups and sections in the Northern States in respect of the then persistent calls for restructuring of the country; with a view to coming up with an acceptable common position for the region.
“The Committee, which is headed by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Hon. Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is expected to submit its Interim Report today. The report is also one of the items slated for deliberation at today’s meeting.
“We may recall that the concept of restructuring, at the initial stage, had taken various dimensions which included resource control, regionalism and geo-political divisions among others. So it was imperative that the North as a region like other regions of the Federation should have a common position on the issue; hence the establishment of the Committee”.