Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) has called on President Muhammad Buhari to restore civil authority on all recaptured Boko Haram areas in the north east states, saying the insurgency has been defeated.
The forum’s chairman and governor of Born State, Hon. Kashim Shettima, made the call in an address at the Governors’ Forum in Kaduna Friday. The chairman said, “In respect of the insurgency in the North East, and as someone from the epicenter of the crisis, I can confidently confirm that the insurgency has been irredeemably halted and the insurgents themselves completely subdued.
“What remains now are few isolated pockets of suicide bombings, which the recalcitrant remnants of the insurgents use as a last resort to attract attention and create unnecessary panic among the general population.
“Our profound gratitude obviously goes to Mr. President for fulfilling his promise to bring the insurgency to a complete halt. We also like to extend our sincere appreciation to our gallant military and other security agencies who, buoyed up by the President’s enthusiastic support and adequate and regular supply of the required military hardware and welfare incentives, were able to relentlessly pursue the insurgents and destroy their infrastructure, with the consequence that all the areas hitherto under their control or influence have been recaptured.”
The forum called on President to ensure the full restoration of civil authority in the recaptured areas, in order to pave way for the safe return of the IDPs. “This undoubtedly entails the reconstruction and rehabilitation of public institutions and structures such as Local Government Secretariats, Police Stations, Prisons, Hospitals and Clinics as well as Schools – all of which were either partially or completely destroyed by the insurgents.
“Subsequently, officers of the Nigerian Police and those of the Civil Defence Corps could be deployed to maintain law and order and also stave off any intrusion into these communities. In this way, our IDPs would be conveniently ‘repatriated’ back to their homes, while our soldiers, who are in-charge of the recaptured areas, could be deployed to continue with their onerous task of pursuing the insurgents until they are totally decimated.”
In the North West and North Central, the forum said security situation is alarming, as the issues of cattle rustling, kidnapping, banditry and the persistent conflict between farmers and cattle rearers are gradually assuming unacceptable proportions.
“It has, therefore, become a strategic imperative for us to take a hard look at these formidable challenges and work out strategies on the most effective ways of not only reversing the trend but also overcoming them once and for all. Whatever resolutions we can come up with would be communicated to the appropriate authorities for obvious analytical examination and possible implementation.
“We must again commend our President and Commander-In-Chief for his decisive intervention in the Agatu crisis in Benue State by ordering the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to personally visit the area and strategically assess the situation with a view to beefing up security not only to restore normalcy but also to forestall similar conflicts in future.
“While still on the subject of security, I would like to seize this opportunity to make a passionate appeal to members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria to avail themselves at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government, in order to present their case. The Tribunal, as we know, consists of people of unimpeachable integrity and respectable professional standing, and it would be grossly improper for them to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Tribunal or the integrity of its proceedings without presenting their case.”
Most governors were, however, represented at the forum, which took place at the State House, Kawo, and also at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, respectively, due to excessive heat.