Miffed by the insecurity in the northern part of the country, the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) is set to engage local vigilantes, hunters, and community watch groups in the security architecture of the region in order to foster intelligence gathering, rapid response and sustained surveillance.
This was part of the resolutions of a meeting conducted by the governors via teleconferencing which was presided over by Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong.
According to a statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Dr Simon Makut Machan, Director of Press Affairs to the chairman of the forum Governor Simon Lalong, the Governors expressed concern over the level of insecurity in the region.
The statement depicted that the governors agreed to set up a standing committee on security in the North which will foster synergy between security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has Governors of Zamfara and Gombe as members.
The Forum also set up another Committee headed by Governor Simon Lalong on Consultation with Traditional, Religious and Community leaders in the North with a view to ensuring that there is wider involvement in tackling insecurity in the region.
On the influx of foreign herdsmen to the country, the Northern Governors further called on the Federal Government to closely look into the Ecowas protocol on the free movement of persons as it relates to the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North.
They commended the Nigerian security forces for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region so far and called for increased synergy to further enhance their operations and assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals.
The meeting also unanimously agreed to adopt dialogue where necessary while pursuing military measures in dealing with the various security challenges in the region.
The governors while sympathizing with victims of the various attacks and other forms of criminality in the region appealed for calm by groups and those affected as both the Forum, individual State Governments and the Federal Government are working together to ensure that this ugly situation is brought under control immediately, as well as addressing the humanitarian needs of the victims.
On job creation, the governors also appealed to the Federal Government to accelerate the Livestock Transformation Plan to assist in creating jobs among farmers and herders in the region and the country at large.
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