The Northern State Governors Forum on Thursday began a meeting in Kaduna to discuss various security challenges in the region and the issue of restructuring.
The chairman of the Forum, Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, said at the opening of the meeting that as elected representatives of the people, the governors must dispassionately address the crisis bedevilling the region.
He said that it would be of great disservice to the people, if the crisis were politicised or given religious or tribal colorations.
“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, devise viable strategies to forestall all forms of security challenges that may likely erupt in the future.
“However, I need to emphasise 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.”
He added that, “there is 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 imputing political, ethnic or religious colorations to the conflicts.’’
The NGF chairman disclosed that the meeting would also receive the report of its committee on the restructuring of the country headed by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
“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,” he said. (NAN)