North-East Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Saturday urged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to properly equip the Nigerian Police so it can assist the military to defeat the Boko Haram extremists.
The NGF made the call in a communique issued after their second meeting on challenges confronting the sub-region.
In attendance at the meeting were – Governors of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri; Gombe, Inuwa Yahaya; Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Deputy Governor of Taraba, Haruna Manu; and Yobe, Idi Barde Gubana.
The communique was signed by the Forum’s Chairman and Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.
The governors commended the Federal Government’s (FG) fight against Boko Haram insurgency with a call for the armed forces to “intensify effort to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region and ensure safe access to farmlands.”
They recommended that the manpower deficit in the military be bridged by allowing the Police to carry state of the art weapons and be provided with strategic equipment like high-velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).
The governors called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that attention was given to recharging the Lake Chad from national water bodies and strengthening the river basins in the sub-region.
They pledged to work together to foster regional integration, growth and development, especially, in the exploitation of its oil and gas potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialisation.
The NGF urged the Federal Government to revoke road contracts awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works for years without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors with funding to ensure timely execution.
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It called on the Federal Government to ensure local content in the execution of the Mambila Hydroelectric power project and other programmes of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to ensure synergy with state governments.
The Forum expressed the support of the governors for the management and board of NEDC and their determination to work together in producing a comprehensive strategic master plan for the region that would ensure sustainable development.
The NGF 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 Northeast Governors’ Forum (NGF) nominated the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum as Chairman of the Forum for a period of two years, with the headquarters of the Forum located in Maiduguri.
Recall that the governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states, had earlier this year agreed to form a regional body to be known as “North East Governors’ Forum”. Their first meeting held in March this year, in Gombe State, where they the discussed common challenges confronting their region.
The forum’s third meeting has been scheduled for November 7, 2020, in Yola, Adamawa State.
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