We’ll tackle insecurity, IBB, Abdulsalami, Ciroma, Atiku, others vowAbdulsalaami Abubakar (1998-99), Ibrahim Babangida (1985-93), Presidency Saturday, March 17th, 2012
The North appears unrelenting in the search for an enduring solution to the Boko Haram insurgency.
Eminent leaders across the region, at yet another meeting to check the spate of insecurity in that part of the country, said they are all out for the rediscovery of Nigeria’s unity and the cohesion of northern communities.
The northern elders, who gathered in Minna on Thursday under the auspices of the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS), resolved to enhance the cohesiveness of the region by promoting inter-faith and inter-ethnic relationship and also assist in the search for better state-community relations.
They also intend to facilitate the emergence of a broad consensus on the basic interests of the North and try to implement strategies in achieving them.
At the forum were two former military rulers, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; one time Finance Minister, Mallam Adamu Ciroma; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Pauline Tallen.
Also in attendance were former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop John Onaiyekan; Sheik Ahmed Lemu; Mr. Nda Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership newspaper; Abubakar Gimba; Professor Bawa Salka; Brig.-Gen. Halilu Akilu (rtd); Senator Jubril Aminu and Alhaji Isa Funtua
In a communiqué issued by Gen. Abubakar and Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed yesterday, the forum also resolved to engage leadership at all levels in the search for better governance, transparency and improved responsiveness of leaders to the basic needs of citizens in the region.
To this end, the forum intends to encourage northern state governors to improve on the management of the economy of the region, expand the regional investment base and encourage the search for more economic resources which abound in the region.
The forum said it would involve communities in intelligence gathering and peace building.
Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, who read the communique, dismissed a media report that the forum discussed revenue allocation.
He said: “The meeting discussed extensively on the search for solutions to the escalating security challenges in the North and the country. We never discussed any issue on revenue allocation.
“Aside from discussing issues on escalating security challenges in the region, we also frankly discussed how we can rebuild the economy of the North and strategise on how the North can further contribute to the development and the stability of the nation.”
The meeting was their second in one week.
At the first meeting in Abuja, the forum set up two committees–security and socio-economic–to address the problems of the North and submit their reports by March 27.
At the opening of the last session on Thursday, the host, Gen.Abdulsalami described the Boko Haram insurgency as the biggest security challenge confronting the North.
He lamented that while other parts of he country were “articulating positions which should improve their interests in the manner the nation should be structured, the North is being torn by conflicts, violence and deep mistrust among its communities.”
He added: “In Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau states, just to mention a few places, we have killed and are killing ourselves needlessly in thousands on grounds of ethnic and religious differences. We have become our worst and bitterest enemies.”
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