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2015: Four northern governors meet Shagari

Four northern governors met with Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in Sokoto on Tuesday.

It was gathered that Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and host, Aliyu Wamakko, met the former President to brain- storm on the way out of the nation’s problems.

The governors, along with their Niger State counterpart, Babangida Aliyu, had last week, paid similar visits to a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo; a former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; and a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

It was gathered that Aliyu sent apologies over his inability to attend. He was said to have gone to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj.

A source, who was part of the governors’ entourage, confided in our correspondent that “matters of national interest” dominated the meeting.

The source said, “There is nothing unusual about the visit to Sokoto. Besides, His Excellency, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, is not the first person they will be visiting.

“Like similar visits to former military rulers, the governors came here for consultations with the former President, who is an elder statesman in every sense of the word.

“The issues are the same: insecurity, economic strangulation of the North and of course, the nation’s future.

“These problems are common across the country but are more pronounced in the North.

“Essentially, the meeting which was held behind closed-doors, was more about the way forward out of the various problems facing our nation.

“You know, Alhaji Shehu Shagari is no longer in active politics; so, the appeal for his intervention goes beyond the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party and Rivers State.”

It was however learnt that apart from complaints over the growing isolation of the North from the scheme of things, the governors discussed the tension being created ahead of the 2015 polls.

It was further gathered that they impressed it upon the elder statesman to “speak to Chief Edwin Clark”, whom they accused of heating up the polity through his utterances over the 2015 elections.

Calls to the Director of Press to the Jigawa State Governor, Umar Kyari; his counterpart in Adamawa State; Ahmad Sajo; Baba Dantiye of Kano; and Niger State Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayabo, were neither picked nor returned as of the time of filing this report by 8pm.

Briefing newsmen at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, Nyako said the visit was to seek fatherly advice from the elder statesman.

“We had met amongst ourselves and observed that there are lots of problems currently bedevilling the nation,’’ he said.

Nyako identified the problems to include insecurity, overheating of polity, poverty and unemployment, among others.

The Adamawa State governor said, “That is why we are going round the region meeting with prominent northern leaders with a view to fostering unity, understanding and national cohesion.

“This is also with a view to finding plausible solutions to the problems for the country to forge ahead.”

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