The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF), comprising of the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe with the Governors of Gombe and Taraba, have raised the alarm that banditry is becoming worse in their region.
This was contained in a communique issued by the governors after its 8th meeting held in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The Communique reads:
It expressed delight at the growing strength of the cooperation, collaboration and cordial relationship between the Governors of the 6 States of the region. The Forum reiterated its commitment to foster a common ground and pursue collective course for the benefit of the region.
After exhaustive deliberations, the Forum resolved and presents the following Communique:
1. The Forum appreciated the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Kashim Shettima for gracing the opening ceremony of the 8th meeting of the NEGF and the Government and People of Borno State for hosting the event.
2. While acknowledging the relative success recorded against insurgency, a new dimension of growing banditry is added to worsen the security situation in the subregion. As a result of the concerted efforts of the Military to flush bandits from the other parts of the country, the bandits are now moving towards the Northeast. The case is becoming worse in Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba, places hitherto without banditry. The Forum calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to address this issue.
3. The Forum is aware that some traditional rulers and other local authorities are conniving with the bandits, giving them shelter and cover to commit crimes within the subregion. The Forum unanimously resolved to decisively deal with any Traditional ruler or community leader that is found to be harbouring or conniving with the bandits.
4. The proliferation of mining in the region is becoming a problem. This includes both legal and illegal mining. It noted the link between mining activities and insecurity especially the abuse of the mining leases. The Forum calls on the respective Governments to enforce compliance with the provisions of local consent as contained in Nigeria’s Mining Policy. The Forum reiterated its call for strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.
5. Forum noted with great concern that Climate Change and environmental degradation is a major issue affecting the subregion. The issue of flooding that had affected the States leading to destruction of properties and loss of livelihoods is increasing the sufferings of the people. This has been compounded by the silting of our rivers as well as deforestation brought about by the massive charcoal business. There is the need for the Federal Government’ intervention in the area of desilting the rivers. Furthermore, there is the need for effective control on deforestation with stern regulation to local authorities against compromise to granting approvals for such business. The Forum has resolved to key into the Global Initiative of Carbon Credi, the Great Green wall and other initiatives that will mitigate the devasting impact of climate change in the subregion.
6. Forum noted with dismay the seeming neglect of road and railway infrastructure especially along the economic corridors that links the Northeast subregion to the rest of the country. The Roads from Enugu to Maiduguri is in deplorable State. Equally worse is the railway from the Enugu up to Maiduguri which has been destroyed. The Forum is calling on the Federal Government to look into the situation and consider the reconstruction of these basic infrastructure along Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor. This is a major route for regional trade and very important for integration, peace building and improving national unity.
7. The Forum agreed that all the States within the subregion are to domesticate the Education Law 2022, as recommended by the Northeast Education Council earlier constituted by the Forum.
8. The Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be more proactive with the issues of development in the subregion. Its intervention should be well prioritized in short, medium and long term to take care of the sustainable development needs of the people within the subregion.
9. The forum resolved to promote subregional commerce among member States. It further agreed to resuscitate the northeast trade fair to be held in Bauchi in January, 2024.
10. The Forum resolved to hold the 9th Meeting in Yola, Adamawa State between Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th – November, 2023.