The 19 Northern States yesterday took their first major step in preparation for possible restructuring of the country.
The State governors and Chairmen of councils of traditional rulers Council from the states set up a high-powered committee to collate the views and comments of the people of the Northwest, Northcentral and Northeast ahead of any conference on the restructuring.
The committee is headed by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State who, until May 29,2015 ,was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Other members of the committee are the governors of Nassarawa, Gombe, Benue, Bauchi and Kaduna States as well as the Emirs of Kano, Zazzau and Gumel as well as the Etsu Nupe, Gbong Gwomg Jos.
The Deputy Governor of Plateau State will serve as secretary of the committee.
The establishment of the panel is one of the highlights of the communiqué issued by the governors and traditional rulers at a meeting in Kaduna.
It was signed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima but read to newsmen by Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.
The governors said the committee had become necessary because the agitation for restructuring has assumed different meanings to different people.
The committee is expected to come up with acceptable, tenable and sustainable position for the Northern region in consonance with provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The agitation for restructuring of the country has been on the rise lately with some Nigerians accusing the North of being afraid of such an exercise.
The communique also condemned the recent bloody attacks in Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna and other places.
They promised to take decisive measures to put an end to frequent herders and farmers clashes in the region,but warned against hate speeches in the country.
They asked community and opinion leaders, as well as political office holders to “be circumspect and use tact and finesse in their comments on national issues or conflict situations and refrain from making inflammatory statements especially through the social media that may create tension in the polity or threaten the unity if the nation.”
They also called on the federal government to “strengthen the capability of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies with adequate funding and logistical requirements to enable them perform their statutory mandate in a more effective and efficient manner.”
“It is also pertinent that, funds and operational equipment allocated to our security agencies, cascade down to all the various command structures at the state level. This will improve their ability to effectively check security challenges”.
The Forum urged the FG to relinquish forest reserves to their domiciled states for better management and proper security coverage, saying increasing rate of armed banditry in the region to caused mainly by the inability of FG to leave it for states hosting them.
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