The Northern Governors’ Forum will on Thursday meet over a letter written by the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, on insecurity in the North.
The Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, who stated this in Minna on Monday, said that the NGF, had received Nyako’s memo.
This came to the fore on Monday as there were indications that the northern governors were divided on the letter.
Nyako, in a letter to the forum, dated April 16, 2014, had alleged that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration was committing genocide against the North.
He had said, “The administration is bent on bringing wars in the North between Muslims and Christians and within them and between one ethnic group and another or others in various communities in the region.
Nyako added that kidnappers of schoolgirls in Borno State must have the backing of the Federal Government “for them to move about freely with abducted children.”
But the Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, on Saturday said that Nyako’s letter was a sad betrayal of trust by a major beneficiary of the Nigerian nation.
Okupe said that Nyako’s letter was divisive, adding that it was meant to incite one section of the country against the other.
The Adamawa State governor however hit back at the Presidency on Monday, saying that it was confused and incompetent.
Aliyu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, said that the forum would meet on the memo in Abuja on Thursday
He stated, “The forum is now in receipt of Nyako’s memo and would look at the concerns raised by Admiral Nyako.
“With a view to addressing the issues, the forum will …..discuss the memorandum submitted to it by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, where he raised several concerns about the insurgency in the North”.
Aliyu added that the meeting, which is aimed at finding lasting solutions to the incessant crises between herdsmen and farmers in the region, would be attended by the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
The governor said members of the forum and leaders of the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria would fashion out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity in the region.
He said, “I am enthusiastic that the interface between northern governors and Miyetti Allah would engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development to the region.
“The forum intends to work closely with leaders of Miyetti Allah to unmask criminals who masquerade as cattle breeders to inflict mayhem on innocent citizens”.
The decision to meet with Miyetti Allah was taken at the last meeting of the National Economic Council during which governors of the 36 states of the federation constituted a panel headed by Nyako.
The panel is to work out ways to end incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the troubled region.
It is expected that the meeting will push for a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes.
The meeting is also expected to make a case for proper demarcation of grazing fields for herdsmen and the adoption of a comprehensive pastoral development programme to reduce constant friction between farmers and herdsmen especially in the Northern part of the country.
On his part, the Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada, said that he would not be involved in altercations between the President and Nyako.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, the Special Adviser to the Kogi State Governor on Communications, Mr. Jacob Edi, said Wada would also not want to be dragged into the controversy.
“The governor, Capt Idris Wada, would not want to comment on that issue. He also would not want to be dragged into that controversy,” Edi said.
Also, the Chief Press Secretary to the Nasarawa State Governor, Iliyasu Ali-Yakubu, said he would need to get across to his principal before he could comment on the letter.
“You know this is a very sensitive issue; I need to speak with my governor and get his position on the letter before I can comment on it and right now (Monday), he is in a meeting with some people, and it’s not something I can ask him on the phone. So you have to give me some time to give you feedback on our position on the letter.”
The Director of Press and Public Relations to the Kano State governor, Mallam Baba Dantiye, said his principal was currently out of the country but was due back before the weekend.
He, however, said, “His Excellency, the governor is currently in Malaysia; I have sent him a copy of the memo for his attention. Let us wait until he returns.”
His Sokoto State counterpart, Mallam Sani Umar, said he had yet to be briefed and as such was not in a position to comment. – Punch.