The North-East Governors’ Forum says the mass exodus of bandits from the North-West region has made the relative peace in the region vulnerable.
Our correspondent reports that Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno Gombe, and Yobe States were present, except Taraba State, who was represented, at its seventh meeting held in Gombe.
The group stated this on Friday night in its nine-point communique read by Mai Buni, Governor of Yobe State, and signed by the Chairman of the North-East Forum Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Governor of Borno State.
The North-East Governors’ Forum resolved that there is a need for a coordinated road map with the support of the Federal Government to dismantle the criminals.
According to the Forum, there was a nexus between mining activities and insecurity, stressing the need for strict compliance with Land Use Act.
The communique partly read, “The Forum lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies for the effort in combating the Boko Haram insurgency. It noted the improvement in the security situation in the region which had largely been achieved through kinetic and non-kinetic measures.
“The Forum noted the relative peace being experienced in the sub-region, especially the reduced incidences of farmer-herder clashes, as encouraging. However, there is increasing vulnerability of the region to insecurity due to the mass movement of the bandits who are gradually being pushed out of the North-West by the security forces. On the influx of the bandits, there is an urgent need to launch a coordinated security road map in conjunction with the security agencies and the Federal Government.
“The Forum noted the link between mining activities and insecurity especially the abuse of the mining leases. It therefore resolved to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.”
The group also bemoaned the power distribution of five per cent in the region, adding that the Federal Government should expedient action towards harnessing the potentials of the Mambila power project.
“The Forum again expressed concern on the parlous state of power supply in the North-East region, which at present receives less than five per cent of national allocation of grid energy while accounting for 14 per cent of the population and 30 per cent of landmass. While noting the direct correlation between energy security and high level of poverty and our GDP status, it called on the Federal Government to introduce innovative strategies by investing in the production of comparatively cheaper hydropower and renewable energy.
“Related to this, the Federal Government is called upon to accelerate the execution of the Mambila hydroelectricity project,” the communique added.
While lamenting the devastating effects of flood in the region, the Forum lauded the Federal Government for establishing a tertiary institution specialised in training medical personnel, saying it would solve the current shortfall in human resources.
The North-East Governors’ Forum said, “The Forum thanked the Federal Government for establishing the University of Health Sciences in Azare to address the huge manpower deficit in the health sector and pledged to support the University to deliver on its mandate.
“The Forum expressed grave concern about the devastating effect of flooding which is destroying homes and livelihood including road infrastructures. The Forum therefore calls on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency direct its relevant agencies to immediately deploy all necessary interventions to ameliorate the situation in the affected areas.”