Members of the Northern Governors Forum met on Thursday to review the security situation in the region. The teleconference, which was presided over by the Chairman of the Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, held against the backdrop of recent attacks communities in northern states by Boko Haram and bandits among other criminals.
During the meeting, the governors were concerned about the level of insecurity in the region and took some measures to address the situation. Among other resolutions, they agreed to set up a standing committee on security in the North to foster synergy with security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region. Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, was named as the committee chairman with the Governors Zamfara and Gombe, Bello Matawalle and Muhammad Yahaya, as members.
Another committee headed by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, with Governors of Adamawa, Niger, and Sokoto States – Ahmadu Fintiri, Abubakar Bello, and Aminu Tambuwal, as members, was set up on the consultation with traditional, religious and community leaders in the North. According to a statement by the spokesperson for Governor Lalong who is also the Forum’s chairman, Dr Makut Macham, the consultative committee would ensure that there is wider involvement in tackling insecurity in the North.
The governors also resolved to engage local vigilantes, hunters, and community watch groups in the security architecture of the region, to enhance intelligence gathering, rapid response, and sustained surveillance. They, therefore, called on the Federal Government to closely look into the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons regarding the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North.
While commending the security forces for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region, the governors called for increased synergy to enhance operations and assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals. They also agreed to adopt dialogue where necessary while pursuing military measures in dealing with the various security challenges in the North.