Warns against ethnic profiling
Northern governors to enhance security in schools
We’re helpless-Parents of Kagara school boys
Govt responsible if captives die—Captors
From Lami Sadiq (Kaduna) & Romoke W. Ahmad (Minna) & Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja)
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his government will continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to security in the country.
President Buhari spoke while declaring open a meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum and Chairmen of the region’s Traditional Council of Chiefs and Emirs in Kaduna.
He said: “criminals are criminals and must be dealt with accordingly without resulting to ethnic profiling.”
Daily Trust reports that yesterday’s meeting was aimed at discussing security and socio-economic challenges bedeviling the region and also receiving reports of 12 committees constituted by the forum in November last year.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the region at the National Assembly, the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminences, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar as well as representatives of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
The president who was represented at the meeting by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari assured that his administration was confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that had continued to slow down the emancipation of Nigerians from poverty and economic deprivation.
“The government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country,” President Buhari.
The president added that he had tasked the new service chiefs to devise new strategies that will end “the ugly security situation where lives of Nigerians continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
While advocating for synergy between the Northern Governors Forum and other forums in other regions for the collective good of nation, he stressed the need for the regions to compare notes and peer-review one another to exchange ideas and adopt best practices for the good of the people they govern.
The president also urged the governors to discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large.
He commended the forum for de-escalating tension arising from clashes between herders and farmers, adding that their efforts in engaging all parties and supporting the federal government has gone a long way in ameliorating the situation.
“Government also notes with satisfaction the deliberate actions of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum of inclusivity in addressing the challenges of governance and National development. This is demonstrated in today’s event, wherein the Forum intends to receive and deliberate on the reports from Committees that were put in place to critically look at certain challenges of the region.”
He drew the attention of the leaders to key issues bothering the northern region and the country that required collective efforts to resolve.
“Some of the issues include population growth, agriculture value chain that is anchored on diversification and improved yields, as well as the revival of industries and other economic opportunities for job creation. I shall be keenly waiting for your resolutions on these and other issues as we work together to ensure a change,” he said.
Criminals wrecking rural economy in north- El-Rufai
Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, while speaking at the event, said the rural economy in many states of the north had been wrecked due to activities of criminal elements who drove farmers from their fields threatened lives and livelihoods and put food security at risk.
El-Rufai reminded his colleagues that they must work with traditional institutions, community and civic leaders, to accelerate efforts to avail the region every chance to successfully engage the challenges and possibilities of the 21st century.
“Our people are looking up to us for solutions. We need peace and security in the north and Nigeria. There is no time to engage in analysis-paralysis. There is no room to trading blame. There is no space for partisanship. Our people are in dire straits. We must discharge our duty as leaders to them by collaborating across all divides to solve the challenges that confront our region and Nigeria,” he said.
Northern governors to enhance security in schools
Governors of the 19 northern states on Thursday resolved to put more efforts in enhancing the security and safety of all schools within their domains and urged security agencies to collaborate with them towards achieving the objective.
Arising from a five-hour closed-door meeting with chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and the Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the governors also resolved to work in synergy with security agencies to address intra and inter border porosity in order to arrest illegal border movements.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who read the communique said members had agreed to work assiduously and jointly with the Federal Government in tackling the challenges of insecurity in the country to create conducive atmosphere for socio-political-economic growth and development.
Lalong said the Forum will work in synergy with their Southern counterparts and appealed to their colleagues to extend their presence in the northern part of the country in order to enable harmonious and peaceful coexistence among citizens and other ethnic nationalities.
“It was resolved that the Northern Governors Forum would partner with the traditional institutions, religious leaders and all relevant stakeholders in the entrenchment of communal harmony, peace and security of the region and the country at large,” he said.
Stop quarrelling in public, NEF advises northern governors
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has advised governors of the northern region to exercise restraint and stop quarrelling in public, stressing that it sets a bad precedence for people in the region.
The NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who spoke during a joint meeting with governors, traditional leaders and federal government delegation in Kaduna said when governors disagreed on issues of security, it caused panic among citizens of the region.
Baba-Ahmed urged the governors to work with their colleagues in the southern part of the region to ensure that northerners resident there were protected while assuring that NEF will pray for their success to take the region forward.
He however added that NEF would not fail to criticize leaders in the region when the association felt things were not being handled properly.
FG has abandoned us to our fate-Niger gov
Meanwhile, Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has accused the federal government of not doing enough to secure the release of victims abducted at Government Science College, Kagara.
Governor Bello, who spoke yesterday when he received Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, at Government House, Minna, said the state had been left to handle the rescue on its own.
Although he admitted that the federal government sent a delegation to the state and also deployed 300 mobile policemen to the state, Bello said his administration had been left to shoulder the financial responsibility.
“So, where is the support? At the moment we have not seen any federal support here since this incident occurred. Yes, we had a delegation that came to commiserate with us, but we are left to ourselves,” he said.
Bello, who was optimistic about the release of the victims, said the state government had already made a commitment to the people to rescue the abducted school children and will do everything possible to ensure their release.
“We will use whatever means and resources available to make sure the children return home safely. We don’t have exact day and when these children will be released but I am sure that it will happen very soon,” he said.
Efforts to get the presidency to respond to the allegations by the governor were however unsuccessful.
We’re helpless-Parents of Kagara school boys
In a related development, parents of the Government Science College, Kagara students who were abducted a week ago have lamented over the continued stay of their children in captivity.
The parents who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they were helpless and could not do anything to secure the release of their children since the government was already involved.
Reacting to the audio in circulation purported to be that of the bandits saying “they don’t have enough food to feed the student and that they may die of hunger”, they said it was “devastating and horrible as they don’t know the condition of their children.”
Similarly, a new audio purported to be from the kidnappers said the government should be blamed if the children among them died in the bush.
The audio, which is in Hausa language was said to be a conversation between the abductors and the negotiators where the former said, “I don’t have food for them. If anybody dies among them, we will tell you where to go and pick the corpse.