•Harp on FG, states, citizens alliance
By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to strategically confront the challenges especially insecurity facing the northern Nigeria, some eminent sons and daughters of the region, have founded Abuja Roundtable, an independent, non partisan, Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) by to address the ever evolving challenges facing the region.
The stakeholders who attended the unveiling of the objectives of Initiative yesterday in Abuja, were: “Former Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Alh. Bashir Tofa, Former Secretary government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, Former Governor of Kaduna state, Ramalan Yaro, former Governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatai Ahmed, former Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku.
Others include: Former Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, former FCT Minister, Aliyu Modibo, former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, Chief of Defense Staff, General Martin Agwai, Senator Abdul Ningi, Hajiya Naja’atu Tijani, Member Police service Commission, former Minister of State Aviation, Dr. Idi Hong amongst others.
They explained that Abuja Roundtable will take an active interest in the resolution of the security crisis facing Northern Nigeria, as they will initiate new and support existing private citizen initiatives to compliment the efforts of the three tiers of government.
Briefing Journalists on behalf of other eminent stakeholders, at the maiden press conference of the Initiative, Alhaji Tofa, noted that the state of insecurity across Nigeria is worrisome, but the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria has reached existential proportions, threatening to render the region hostile to civilized existence.
He added that to bring the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria under control, more and better collaboration among the states across the region and between the states and federal authorities is required.
He equally stated that there is also need for more and better coordination among the military and security agencies and between them and the civilian population.
The elder statesman stressed that no effort should be spared to bring an end to the wanton death and destruction that have been unleashed on the region.
According to him, “We acknowledge the efforts of the relevant authorities at both the state and federal levels to deal with the difficult, complex and evolving security situation but it is becoming clear on a daily basis that a lot more of these efforts is required.
“The pain, agony and unwarranted suffering of ordinary people across the region has become completely unbearable as agriculture, education, commerce and the normal rhythm of life have been severely disrupted.
“ However, the ultimate remedy to the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria is a collective resolve by all Northern communities to live in peace with each other, in equity and justice, and quality investment by the three tiers of government, as well as the private sector, in human capital, agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure, particularly power, transport and telecommunication.
“These investments are necessary for job creation to catch up with our rapid growth in population. So, we will do whatever is necessary and possible to cooperate with the relevant authorities to restore security to the region.”
Furthermore, he explained that: “reasons that we founded Abuja Roundtable and set for ourselves the following objectives: To foster genuine unity among the people of Northern Nigeria
“To use unity as the platform to collectively address the challenges of insecurity and underdevelopment in the region; to move from unity within Northern Nigeria to unity among Nigerians.”
He however noted that the they are fully aware attaining the objectives will not be easy as the conditions and forces of division have taken root and have been left to fester unchecked over a long period.
“Abuja Roundtable envisions a united Northern Nigeria in which peace, prosperity and development become the norm rather than the exception, in which the people are defined by the core values of love, honesty, hard work, contentment, sacrifice, humility and good neighborliness.