The state of security, among other burning issues that have characterized the northern region of the country, has become a thing of deep concern that needs to be addressed with urgency according to the people of the region.
They say terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, as well the recent maiming and destruction of properties of their people living outside the region need to be looked up to before the region is consumed by its problem.
At Northern Peoples Summit held in Kaduna, relevant stakeholders of the region converged to discuss ways and manners in putting an end to this cankerworm that has eaten deeply into the fabrics of the region, and also for the region to live up to it’s responsibility.
Convener of the summit, Chairman of the Northern Elder’s forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi in his opening remarks noted that the time for lamenting is over, instead work out modalities that would move out the region from its present troubles it found itself.
“We have lamented enough. We have blamed each other too long. We have been fighting the wrong enemy and the real enemy has found accommodation and space amongst us. It is time to turn a new chapter into our lives. It is time to stop running and face our challenges squarely. It is time to tell ourselves some truths, heal wounds, and re-engineer a resolve to stop the rot in the North.”
“In this room, today, we should make a solemn promise. From this point on, we will not accept to live with excuses; we will begin a new chapter that should give new generations of northerners hope, certainty, opportunities, and a sense of worth which they so richly deserve.
“Banditry, Insurgency, Cultism, Piracy, and Irredentism are threats to the national, and they must be treated with a mindset that appreciates their root, complexities, and solutions in a national context.
“As Northerners, we know that the roots of banditry in which Fulani are substantially involved have very young roots, and it is still possible to eliminate it, provided we deploy resources and resourceful attitude towards dealing with it. Federal and northern state Governments should design and implement plans for the domestication of herders and improvements in the quality of life of Fulani herding communities” he explained.
Abdullahi stated clearly that Boko Haram and Armed Fulani criminal activities are not problems of the North or Kanuri or Fulani. Saying they are national problems, and even threaten every Nigerian in equal measure.
Also, Sending a warring signal to leaders, Abdullahi said the days of voting those who have always turned their back to their electorate after the election is over, stressing that the north will not vote any leader into office come 2023 base on religion or tribe.
It should signal a new era in collaboration between those who hold power, and those who have a duty to support them to succeed”.
“It is not acceptable that serious issues which represent genuine improvements in our governance structures should wait for the pleasure of our legislators or the presidency. We can vastly improve effective governance if we take the issues of restructuring more seriously. In the event that those we elected to represent us believe that this is not what we need, Nigerians should encourage a citizen-driven review of our foundations and systems, and democratically put in place leaders who will address them as matters of national survival or collapse.
“In this respect, we should advise those who conflate the vital national imperative to restructure with issues of rotation or zoning the presidency to avoid doing major injury to our future as a nation. No one will quarrel with the decision of any political party to zone political offices and canvass for votes around them. Those parties who do this also have the responsibility to convince Nigerians over the utility and other values behinds them. The basic rights of Nigerians to vote for candidates of their choices cannot be taken away by threats of blackmail.
“Northerners voters have supported three southerners, Abiola, Obasanjo, and Jonathan to victory in the past, two of them against northerners. Northerners voters are enlightened and conscious of their responsibilities.” He said.