by Juliana K. Tauna, Kaduna
Northern Governors Forum has on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020, strongly sued for unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigeria citizens and urged all Nigerians to see themselves as equal citizens of the country.
The Forum regrets the “diabolical influencers” in the form of hooliganism, ethno-religious bigots and even political marauders, who are bent on pulling the nation down its knees and pushing for regime change.
It called on all Nigerians to resist these enemies of the nation by supporting the president, Muhammadu Buhari, and other government officers as well as democracy at large.
This was contained in a communiqué, which rose from its one-day emergency meeting over the violence and tension arising from the nationwide #EndSARS protests, held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.
According to the communiqué, the emergency meeting extensively discussed issues bordering on national security, particularly the nationwide #Endsars protests, which have led to the wanton destruction of lives and property in some parts of the country.
The Forum, however, expressed worry and concern on why the protests have persisted, despite the magnanimity exhibited by the Federal Government and various State Governments’ calls from well-meaning Nigerians to put an end to the protests.
While appreciating constitutional rights of all citizens to express concern even by way of protest, it however condemned the incessant destruction of lives and property that ensued in the process.
“Forum commiserates with those, who lost their lives, wounded and those whose properties were destroyed.”
The Northern Governors in the communiqué appealed to all citizens to restrain themselves from unwarranted disposition of sentiments, harassment and intimidation of other citizens resident in their home states.
“All these are antics of the enemies of the country, who are violently pushing for regime change outside the ballot box. The Forum calls for comprehensive and robust reforms in the Police Force.”
It also assured its supports on various federal government initiatives put in place by the present regime as well ensure that they are fast-tracked and given more impetus by the nineteen (19) Northern states.
“The Forum advocates for the Constitution of Judicial Commission of Enquiry to investigate all levels of destruction and killings during the #EndSARS protests; calls for greater synergy between the state and the federal government in strengthening the unity, oneness and overall development of the country.
“Federal Government to explore the possibility of ending ASUU strike. Most of the youths are idle, staying at home.
“Forum further restates her commitment in exploring area of reviving the ailing economy of the north with reference to those areas of comparative advantage.
“The Forum is in synergy with other governors in the South-West, South-South and South-East to address these challenges of nationhood headlong. Together we shall keep Nigeria united and indissoluble.
“Finally, the Forum restates its confidence in the unity of Nigeria and supports all our colleagues in other states of the federation in our collective efforts to restore peace and stability.
The Forum salutes the resilience and restraint of the Northern Youths in the face of the current challenges. Also, the Forum acknowledges the leadership qualities exhibited by some prominent Nigerian leaders in persuading and calming nerves of the youths.
The #EndSARS protesters had over the past weeks been agitating the scrapping and the extrajudicial killings by the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force. It took place mostly in the Southern parts of the country.
The meeting was chaired by governor of Plateau state-cum chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Simon Bako Lalong. In attendance were governors of Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Kebbi Nasarawa, Gombe, Zamfara, Niger states and Deputy Governors of Kaduna, Kano, and Kogi states.