The umbrella body of elders in the Northern part of Nigeria, on Tuesday lashed at the Northern governors’ forum for taking security of the zone for granted when they held a stakeholders meeting in Kaduna last week, but failed to discuss security issues.
In a statement which was issued and released to the press, after meeting in Abuja, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), expressed disappointment that the 19 northern governors meeting
which comprised high level Federal Government officials and traditional rulers didn’t use the opportunity of the meeting to proffer solutions to myriad of security challenges in the zone.
The statement which was signed by the Director, Advocacy and Publicity, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, added that governors who swore an oath of office to secure their citizens pretended that all was well in the north in terms of security, hence, they missed a historic opportunity to discuss.
The forum fumed at the inactions of governors, stating that their stance on worrisome security issues behoves on them to conclude that northern citizens are second class citizens that doesn’t worth protection.
“The Forum expresses its disappointment that the meeting organised in Kaduna with Northern Governors, high level Federal government officials and traditional rulers barely made mention of the insecurity of our communities in the north.
“We noted the concerns of the meeting with the possibility of subversives and criminal elements in many cities of the South as well as the potential for abuse of social media platforms, which appeared to be the major focus of the meeting.
“That meeting missed a historic opportunity to acknowledge that Northern communities are in dire need of improved security, and to give firm and specific assurances that our leaders care about northern lives and will take steps to protect us.
“We took particular note of the pivotal role of governors and traditional rulers at that meeting, leaders who are thoroughly familiar with daily assaults by insurgents, bandits and kidnappers on Northerners.
“They should understand that the impression left by that meeting and the frenzy of activities in parts of the South involving some northern leaders to show sympathy for damage from hoodlums leaves only one impression that northern lives do not matter. ”
They commended Southern governors and community leaders for taking proactive measures against further attack on northern indegenes living in the South, urging northern governors to learn from their Southern counterparts.
The forum urged northern leaders to identify with President Buhari’s effort at improving security in the zone.
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