Rising insecurity tension: Northern Govs, traditional rulers, political leader gather in Kaduna

February 25, 2021
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The rising insecurity precipitated by Fulani herdsmen across the country, including the rampage of bandits in the northwest has continued to generate tension in the north, as well as threats of inter-ethnic hostilities in several parts of Nigeria. state governments and people have begun to rise to resist the killer Fulani herdsmen in several parts of the country after the failure of the federal government to protect lives and property destroyed by the herdsmen. Inter-ethnic clash was recorded in the southwest Nigeria where the governors in the zone have collectively banned open grazing. The protracted killings and destructions in the northwest and the upsurge of killer Fulani herdsmen in other parts of Nigeria are generating scenes of anarchy in the country and obvious threats of war.

The Governors of the 19 states in northern Nigeria, northern traditional rulers, other political leaders, and security chiefs are holding consultative meeting in Kaduna this Thursday to deliberate on the protracting and rising insecurity, threats of disintegration and other economic crises in the north.

The Thursday meeting at the Kaduna State Government House is becoming a practice in the north without crystal roadmap of making the north better. The meeting is holding two weeks after a meeting between northwest governors and the service chiefs of the country’s military, including the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, where participants deliberated on the disturbing banditry and kidnapping in the northwest.

The northwest trailing the northeast ravaged by the Boko Haram terrorists has been converted to a theatre of violent crimes by the various non-state forces armed with AK-47, explosives, and other sophisticated weapons. The security operations appeared compromised, forcing the wide demand for change of the service chiefs which the president responded to after years of massive destructions and seeming consolidation of the bandits. The activities of the bandits and killer Fulani herdsmen have not subsided even after the appointment of new service chiefs. There are, however, indications that the war approach has been changed by the emergent service chiefs.

Meanwhile, the host Governor of the northern governors meeting, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, was of the view that the meeting is long overdue. The Kaduna State governor advocated that northern governors should adopt effective strategies to forestall all forms of security challenges in the north.

The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State noted that the meeting is crucial for the progress of the north and the country, in general.

The Plateau Governor lamented the serial attacks and killings in the north, saying that it is the responsibility of governors and other leaders in the north to find lasting solutions to the insecurity crisis.

Lalong noted that the recent kidnap of school children in Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State, and travelling passengers in Nigher, indicated a wake-up call for northern leaders, adding that they are sad reminders of the difficult situation the north is facing.

Lalong acknowledged the killer herdsmen destruction of farmlands and killing of unarmed farmers, which in recent weeks generated serious tensions following the harsh responses from various parts of the country. The Plateau governor also admitted that open grazing is no longer sustainable for obvious reasons. He disclosed that the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has keyed into the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) as a veritable option that will end the herdsmen crisis through organised ranching.

The northern governors, acknowledged the threats of disintegration of the country. However, rather than call the killer herdsmen to order,  the northern governors warned governors in other parts of the country, including  citizens, particularly, opinion leaders, to be cautious in their utterances and actions, warning further that such unguided utterances could provide the oxygen for the exploitation of the nation’s fault lines to the detriment of the entire country.

The governors in attendance at the meeting on Thursday were identified to include governors of Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Kano, Katsina, Plateau; while deputy governors represented Bauchi, Kogi, Zamfara, Benue, and Niger states.

The expanded meeting also had in attendance the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, the Inspector General of Police, the Minister of Information and Culture, and the Director-General of the State Security Services.

Several traditional rulers led by the Sultan of Sokoto, and representatives of the Northern Elders Forum were also in attendance.

The communique of the meeting is being awaited at the time of this report.

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