North-East Governors Forum (NGF) has declared that it was not opposed to the Nigerian military and troops’ battle against Boko Haram.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, the forum urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to deploy more hardware to the forces fighting terrorists.

The body made the call in a communique after a meeting on security challenges in the region. It was signed by Babagana Zulum, the forum chairman and Borno governor.

In attendance were Governors Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); and Deputy Governors Haruna Manu (Taraba); and Idi Barde Gubana (Yobe).

The leaders demanded more efforts to ensure protection of the people and ensure safe access to farmlands. They recommended that the manpower deficit in the military be bridged by allowing the Police to carry state-of-the-art weapons and be provided with strategic equipment like high-velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).

The governors called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that attention was given to recharging the Lake Chad from national water bodies and strengthening the river basins in the subregion. They pledged to work together to foster regional integration, growth and development, especially in exploitation of its oil and gas potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialization.

The chief executives urged the federal government to revoke road contracts awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works for years without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors with funding to ensure timely execution.

The federal government was also asked to ensure local content in the execution of the Mambila Hydroelectric power project and other programs of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to ensure synergy with state governments.

The communique affirmed its commitment to support the federal government agenda of transforming the Almajiri system with a view to strengthening both Islamic and western education.

“The Forum also nominated Zulum as Chairman of the Forum for a period of two years and the headquarters of the Forum will be located in Maiduguri,” it said.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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