By Umar Muhammad Puma
Governors of the 19 states in northern Nigeria have tasked the Jonathan-led federal government to unmask the identity of sponsors of the dreaded sect, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram.
The governors made the call at the end of a meeting of their umbrella body, the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), yesterday in Abuja.
The NSGF expressed grave concern over the increasing crime rate and general insecurity in the northern part of the country, especially the mayhem being perpetrated by the insurgents.
The forum, in a communiqué read by its Chairman, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, said members also agreed to establish a Security Trust Fund in their respective states to articulate a coordinated approach towards fighting the insurgency in the region.
On the ongoing National Conference, the forum said it was intended to provide more inclusive and focused forum for candid discourse on the daunting challenges confronting the nation and its citizens, such as security, observance of rule of law and corruption.
Governor Aliyu also revealed that the forum developed a new agenda that would put northern delegates in a better position to promote the interests and aspirations of the North and the nation at large.
On the recent symposium organized by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), the forum said the USIP parley opened a strong platform for meaningful discussions and enhanced cooperation that would elaborately address security, social, economic and governance issues peculiar to the region.
The forum also constituted a committee that will articulate issues of common concern for a follow up and implementation with the US agency through the Nigerian embassy in America.
The committee has as members, Secretary to the Niger state Government (SSG), his counterparts from Zamfara, Borno, Kogi and the Niger state commissioner for information, and the representatives of the Nigerian embassy in the United States.
Also in attendance at yesterday’s meeting were Governor of Kano state, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, his Kwara state counterpart, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and Kaduna state governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero.
Others are Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, Kogi state governor Idris Wada, Acting Governor of Taraba state, Garba Umar and the deputy governors of Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi and Katsina, while Sokoto and Plateau governors were represented by their respective SSGs.