The Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima
has called for unity between diverse leaders and other stakeholders across the northeast in order to address challenges facing the geo-political zone.
The VP made the call on Saturday, 9 September, 2023 in Maiduguri while declaring open the 8th meeting of the North East Governors Forum (NEGF).
Shettima, who was in Borno State on a two-day official trip to inaugurate projects executed by the state governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, also used the opportunity of his visit to flag off the distribution of palliatives by the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) and open the Northeast Governors Forum meeting.
The VP said unity between diverse leaders and other stakeholders across the northeast would go a long way in addressing the many challenges facing the geo-political zone.
Shettima commended the northeast governors for deliberately forging unity amongst themselves despite their differences in political ideologies.
The host, Governor of Borno state and Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi and Yobe states, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Bala Mohammed, and Mai Mala Buni were in attendance, while those of Gombe and Taraba were represented by their deputies.
Deputy Governor of Borno, Umar Usman Kadadur, senators and members of the House of Representatives, state lawmakers, Secretaries to the State Governments from the northeast States, traditional rulers led by the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Elkanemi and senior government officials from the six states of the northeast attended the opening session of the meeting.
Chairman of the North-East Governors Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, advocated for a partnership that can give birth to an independent power station and railway network across the northeast.
He said: “Let me draw our attention to the recent amendment to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which saw the removal of Power Generation and Railway Transportation from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. It is therefore important for us in the North East to partner towards the provision of independent power supply and rail transportation in the sub-region.”
Zulum also called for proactive measures towards curtailing the activities of illegal miners while at the same time maximizing the benefits of those minerals towards the overall development of the people in the northeast region.
He charged his colleagues from the region to give priority to the issues of youth unemployment and poverty in the region.
He said: “As we are set to deliberate on matters of common interest and shared responsibilities, we should, in addition to the issues of insecurity, floods, illicit mining and North East Development Commission projects in the sub-region, also focus specifically on youth unemployment, the deep-rooted poverty among the majority of our people due to the removal of oil subsidy by the Federal Government.”
Zulum commended the Nigerian military for their efforts in curbing the security situation in the northeast, which has brought relative peace.
“Let me use this occasion to commend our brave military in the fight against the insurgency, which remains unquestionable, while their determination to succeed is very glaring. No doubt, they have considered and acted upon a wide range of options in the fight against terrorism,” Zulum said.
The Governors later went into a closed-door meeting to deliberate, after which they are expected to issue a communique.