6 March 2020. The Voice of Nigeria: Governors of the six North-Eastern states have ended a one-day consultative meeting in Gombe State with a resolve directing Attorneys General of the states to consider enhancing security in the area through existing laws.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Mr Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State were in attendance at the meeting while the Governor of Taraba State, Mr Darius Dickson Ishaku, was represented by his Deputy Governor, Mr Haruna Manu.
The meeting, which is the first of its kind, deliberated on the various challenges confronting the area, top of which is the issue of security, as well as the North East Development Commission, electricity, the deplorable condition of the Lake Chad Basin, the oil exploration in the zone and Agriculture, among others.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said the meeting was convened to deliberate on the various challenges confronting the area to provide lasting solutions to them.
Governor Yahaya said the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe had decided that since each of the states had laws governing security management, there was the need to have a collaborative understanding to prevent cross border infiltration by criminals operating in border communities.
He said the decision to use the law to tackle security challenges would provide a clear understanding of the collaborative approach and prevent conflict in the laws and any misunderstanding with security agencies.
“… In order to avoid a conflict in those laws and in a bid to ensure that we operate within the ambit of law so that we do not have any misunderstanding within the security agencies, we realised that there is the need for us to have a clear understanding and a collaborative approach in those regards, that is why we took that decision. And I believe very soon they will come up with a position that will be made clear to all of you,” Governor Yahaya said.
The issue of the North East Development Commission was considered and the governors agreed that its projects should be executed through demand-driven approach and priorities while agreeing to support local content initiative in all projects.
The North East Governors agreed to support all strategies and plans to ensure that the success of the Mambila Hydropower Project, for improved productivity in the sub-region and the country as a whole, while looking at the possibility of regional power generation.
“The forum agreed to examine the agricultural potentials of the region and to conduct baseline studies with a view to providing a robust agricultural value chain to address food security, both in the region and the country at large. The forum decried the deplorable condition of the Lake Chad Basin and call on the Federal Government to come up with comprehensive Water Resource Management Plan that will fast-track the process of water transfer from the Congo River, while we commit to collaborating on the desilting of the basin and its tributaries as part of the activation process,” Governor Yahaya said.
The Governors particularly praised the Federal Government on the ongoing oil exploration in the area and thanked the National Assembly for a renewed interest of Hydro-Carbon in the North East Sub-region.
They resolved to establish a technical working committee to implement all the actions they agreed upon while agreeing to now meet quarterly, with the next meeting scheduled for Borno State in mid-April.