ABUJA, NIGERIA – The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), on Tuesday in Abuja, came hard on northern governors for not discussing insecurity in the zone at a meeting they held in Kaduna State last week.
The forum, which is the umbrella body of elders in the 19 northern states, met to assess the outcome of Northern governors meeting, which comprised high-level Federal Government officials and traditional rulers, expressed disappointment that the meeting barely discussed insecurity and ways to tackle it in the zone.
In a statement, which was issued to journalists at the end of the meeting 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 with the north in terms of security, hence, they missed a historic opportunity to discuss.
“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 indigenes living in the South, urging northern governors to learn from their Southern counterparts.