BY INUSA NDAHI, MAIDUGURI
North East Governors Forum (NEGF) from the six states at th week end converged in Maiduguri and discussed extensively on the need for the Federal Government to revisit the Exploration of Oil around the shores of the Lake Chad Region, which was hitherto suspended due activities of Boko Haram Terrorists.
The Forum also harped on the need and sustained effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria in fight against the insurgency especially, the Armed Forces to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region and ensure safe access to farm lands by millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
These were part of the 11 -point communique issued at the end of their 2nd closed door meeting at Government House which lasted for about 7 hours on Saturday.
Presenting the Communique to Journalists, the newly elected pioneer Chairman of the Forum and Borno state Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum said, as leaders, they are determined to give their maximum support to the federal government, especially the security agencies to end numerous challenges such as insecurity, infrastructural decay, climatic change, suspension of oil exploration among others facing the region.
The Communique reads in part: “The Forum commends the effort of the Federal Government of
Nigeria in fighting the insurgency. However, the Armed Forces
should intensify effort to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region
and ensure safe access to farm lands.
“The Forum called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure
the deployment of state of the art military hard ware to the region.
“The Forum recommends that the manpower deficit in the Nigerian
Armed Forces should be bridged by allowing the Police to carry
state of the art weapons where necessary and be provided with
strategic equipment like high velocity tear gas, trackers and
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).
“The Forum calls on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to
ensure that attention is given to recharging the Lake Chad from
National water bodies and strengthen the river basins in the sub
“The Forum pledges to work together to foster regional integration,
growth and development especially in exploitation of its oil and gas
potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialization.
“The Forum called on the Federal Government to revoke selected
roads contracts awarded by Federal Ministry of Works for years
without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors
and fund to ensure timely execution
“The Forum urged the Federal Government to ensure local content
in the execution of the Mambila Hydro electric power project and
other programmes of the North East Development Commission to
ensure synergy with state governments.
“The Forum supports the management and Board of the North East
Development Commission and agreed to work together in producing
comprehensive strategic Master Plan for the region that will ensure
“The Forum affirmed its commitment to support the Federal
Government agenda of transforming the Almajiri system with a view
to strengthening both Islamic and western education as well as
stopping street begging and prevalence of out of school children in
the region as agreed by the Northern Governors.
“The Forum also nominated Professor Babagana Umara Zulum,
MNSE, mni, Executive Governor of Borno State as Chairman of the
Forum for a period of two years and the Headquarters of the Forum
will be located in Maiduguri, Borno State.
” Lastly, the next meeting of the Forum comes up on November 7th 2020 in
Yola, Adamawa State”. The 11-point Communique stated.
Present at the meeting were Governors of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed, Gombe Inuwa Yahaya, Adamawa Ahmadu Fintiri and Borno Professor Zulum, the host attended the meeting, while Governors of Taraba and Yobe, Arch Darius Ishaku and Mai Mala Buni who were unavoidably absent were represented by their Deputies.
The Governors also took time and paid courtesy call to the Managing Director of NEDC, Alkali Goni at his office in Maiduguri where issues related to Development, Peace and Prosperity formed part of their discussions.
The MD thanked the Governors for the visit which availed them the opportunity to see the works the Commission is doing in the region.
Goni assured that the commission’s door would remain open to people in the North East to ensure sustainable development and peace return. End