The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has tasked Federal Government to immediately tackle kidnapping, armed banditry and insurgency raging in the North, while urging security agencies to take the war to terrorists wherever they are.
Speaking at the end of it’s National Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, ACF also condemned communal clashes in Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states, as well as Northern state governors’ lackadaisical approach to education and ending the scourge of Almajiri in the region.
The body however challenged Northern state governors to take measures in addressing the millions of children out-of-school as panacea to poverty, underdevelopment and other ills that have dragged the region backwards.
In a communique issued after its NEC meeting and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF said: “the National Executive Council of Arewa Consultative Forum held its quarterly meeting today under the chairmanship of Sen. Abubakar Girei, Vice Chairman who stood in for the Ag. Chairman, Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande, who was unavoidably absent”.
Members from the 19 Northern states and FCT attended the meeting, which lamented the security challenges in the region, “banditry, kidnappings and killings of innocent people on the highways and frequent attacks on communities giving rise to growing death toll in states of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Taraba. NEC however, noted the need for government to consciously develop appropriate measures to contain the situation. “The Council noted the effort of security agencies and urged them to do more and take the war to the criminals that have continued to make life unbearable to our people. The Council calls upon Federal Government to take drastic measures that will restore normalcy, peace and harmony in the affected states to assuage the fears of the people in particular, Zamfara state where the bandit’s activities have been most cruel and devastating to the socioeconomic and political life of the people.
“The Council also notes with concern the most recent communal clashes between the Tiv and Jukun communities in Benue and Taraba states respectively with attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties on both sides. The Council condemned this unnecessary enmity between communities that have peacefully coexisted over the years and called on the states affected to put in a peace building mechanism that will ensure harmony among the various groups.
“The Council notes with concern the recent communal clash between Mada ethnic group and Fulani settlement in Akwanga local government area of Nasarawa state and condemns such heinous crimes. It calls on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“Council also appeal to the communities to avoid using reprisal attacks as a way of addressing concerns, since such reprisals make victims of those who know nothing about the feuds. It appeals for due process in addressing such grievances among the various communities.
“On the issue of more than 10 million children that are out of school in the North, the Council noted with concern the increase in the number of Almajiris and children roaming the streets and the unfortunate attitude of our states governors towards the development of education. Recently the Emirs and Chiefs in the North organized a conference on this burning issue where it discussed and issued a communique on how the Northern states should tackle the situation. Unfortunately, very few states attended the Conference or even send representatives.
“The Minister of Education recently lamented the attitude of state governments to access funds at the Universal Basic Education Commission for primary education development by paying their counterpart funding. This is an unfortunate development,
“Council therefore appealed to the Northern states government to seriously address this out-of-school children menace to avoid further escalation of insecurity and other vices that have bedeviled the North. Illiteracy, poverty and drug abuses are a result of poor education and nonchalant attitude of our leaders to good governance.”