The North-East Governors’ Forum has concluded its closed-door meeting in Damaturu, Yobe State capital and come out with a five-point communique.
The meeting, which is the Forum’s sixth, was led by the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum.
It was hosted by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State. Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya was present while the deputy governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, and Taraba represented by their governors.
At the end of the meeting on Tuesday night, the Forum issued a five-point communique, mostly bordering on security and power supply.
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The communique was signed by the Forum’s Chairman and Borno State Governor, Zulum and read out by Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State.
Ironically, the communique noted significant improvement in the security situation in the region, attributing it to the ‘mass surrender’ of Boko Haram terrorists, even though the residents of the region are being killed and kidnapped almost on a daily basis.
The communique said, “The Forum noted the significant improvement in the security situation in the sub-region as evidenced by the mass surrender of Boko Haram fighters and commended the Federal Government for its various initiatives towards stabilising the sub-region.
“However, the Forum urged for the establishment of a sustainable programme for the handling of the repentant terrorists. The Forum noted that kidnapping and farmer-herder clashes amongst others are worrisome in the sub-region and resolved to undertake the necessary measures to curtail the menace.”
Meanwhile, just last week, the Nigerian Army said though thousands of terrorists and their families had laid down arms in the North-East, some of them have ulterior motives.
The Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa, disclosed that 20,000 insurgents and their families had laid down their weapons but some of the ‘repentant’ terrorists are not sincere.
“Frankly speaking, for us, this is a good development. A lot of people have been thinking and also expressing mixed feelings if at all the news is true. Of course, there are some insurgents who truly wish to surrender, but we cannot jettison the fact that some of them do have ulterior motives,” he had said.
As its second point, the Forum “deliberated on a presentation by the Hon. Minister of Power on planned and on-going Power Projects in the North East which highlighted the challenges of steady power supply to the sub-region and noted with dismay the near one year lack of electricity in Maiduguri and its environs. It urged the Federal Government to urgently find a lasting solution.”
The communique also noted, “The Forum further raised concerns over the non- commissioning of the Dadin Kowa and Kashimbila hydro-power plants which is stalling the development of the sub-region, and appealed to the Federal Government to increase its investments in the sub-region to guarantee peace and economic prosperity.
“The Forum deliberated extensively on the Mambilla Hydroelectric project. It called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to make adequate budgetary provisions in the 2022 appropriation bill for the implementation of the project.
“The Forum, while recognizing that the 2022 budget is in its final stages, calls on the National Assembly to look critically at the sub-region with a view to ensuring that adequate budgetary provisions are made for all major capital projects in the Sub-region.”
And lastly, the Forum “resolved to have its next meeting from 9th to 11th March 2022 at Gombe, Gombe State”.
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