Governors of states that made up the Northeastern part of the country Monday called on the federal government to address the causes of insurgency in the region.
Chairman of North-east Governors’ Forum (NEGF) and governor Borno state, Mr Babagana Zulum, made the call while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of security agencies.
Zulum, who briefed journalists alongside Governor Ahmadu Fintri of Adamawa state, said the north-east governors met with the president with a view to highlighting the key challenges in the region, especially issues bordering on security, decaying infrastructure, particularly rock projects, cases of oil exploration, and enhancing river basin development, among others.
“The state governments of the region have commended the efforts of the federal government in securing the region. However, we told Mr. President that there is a need for the federal government to address the causes of insurgency, which are not limited to endemic poverty, hunger among others.
“One of the root causes is that of access to farm lands, people need to go back to their farmlands, people need to be resettled in their original homes so that they can restart their means of livelihood. M”This is one of the reasons the insurgents are recruiting more into the sect. Therefore, creating an enabling environment will enable the people to go about their normal duties and will no doubt reduce the cases of insurgency.
“We also recommended that police should be empowered, to be provided with certain state of the art equipment, armoured personnel carriers and so on with a view to bridging the manpower gap that we are having in the Nigerian military.
“We have had a series of consultations after the attack and I think security is not only about the federal government, there is a need for the federal, states and the local government to come together with a view to providing solutions that will end this crisis in the region.
“But most importantly, there is a war economy in the region and I think that is why we are here. So, I think the government is taking a bold step with a view to ensuring speedy resolution of some of the gray areas that we have in the region,” he said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Ibrahim Gambari; National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); Minister of Defence, Mr Bashir Magashi; and the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Mohammad Dingyadi, attended the meeting.
Also in attendance were Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state, Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state, and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state.
Others who attended the meeting were Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai( Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar Adamu; Director General of State Security Service (SSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, and the Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Rufa’i.