Governors of the North-East States in Nigeria, have unanimously elected Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, as pioneer chairman of their forum, for a period of two years.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the forum’s second meeting which held at Government House, Maiduguri the Borno State capital, on Saturday, August 8th, 2020 and was hosted by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State.
The meeting had Governors and Deputy Governors of the six North East Region states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe in attendance and those present were:
Adamawa – Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri
Gombe – Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya
Borno – Prof Babagana Umara Zulum
Bauchi – Sen. Bala Mohammed,
Deputy Governor of Taraba – Engr Haruna Manu
Deputy Governor of Yobe – Idi Barde Gubana.
The Governors of Taraba and Yobe states, Hon Ishaku Darius and Mai Mala Buni who were unavoidably absent, sent in their Deputies.
The North-East Governors discussed prospects and challenges facing the sub-region and raised an 11 points communique at the end of the meeting.
They also resolved to make Maiduguri the headquarters of their forum and agreed to hold their third meeting on November 7, 2020 in Yola, Adamawa state.
The communique was read by Borno Governor and Chairman, North-East Governors forum, Babagana Umara Zulum at the end of the forum’s meeting.
The Governors resolved as follows:
1. The Forum commends the effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria in fighting the insurgency. However, the Armed Forces should intensify effort to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region and ensure safe access to farm lands.
2. The Forum called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the deployment of state of the art military hard ware to the region.
3. The Forum recommends that the manpower deficit in the Nigerian Armed Forces should be bridged by allowing the Police to carry state of the art weapons where necessary and be provided with
strategic equipment like high velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).
4. The Forum calls on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that attention is given to recharging the Lake Chad from
National water bodies and strengthen the river basins in the sub region.
5. The Forum pledges to work together to foster regional integration, growth and development especially in exploitation of its oil and gas potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialization.
6. The Forum called on the Federal Government to revoke selected roads contracts awarded by Federal Ministry of Works for years without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors and fund to ensure timely execution.
7. The Forum urged the Federal Government to ensure local content in the execution of the Mambila Hydro electric power project and other programmes of the North East Development Commission to ensure synergy with state governments.
8. The Forum supports the management and Board of the North East Development Commission and agreed to work together in producing comprehensive strategic Master Plan for the region that will ensure sustainable development.
9. The Forum affirmed its commitment to support the Federal Government agenda of transforming the Almajiri system with a view to strengthening both Islamic and western education as well as stopping street begging and prevalence of out of school children in the region as agreed by the Northern Governors.
10. The Forum also nominated Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, MNSE, mni, Executive Governor of Borno State as Chairman of the Forum for a period of two years and the Headquarters of the Forum
will be located in Maiduguri, Borno State.
11. The next meeting of the Forum comes up on November 7th, 2020, in Yola, Adamawa State.
Others who participated in the second Nort-East region Governors Forum meeting included the Group Managing Director NNPC Mallam Mele Kyari and Managing Director North East Development Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali, amongst other top leaders and professionals, industrialists, statesmen and captains of industry from the region, who made presentation, bordering on security, Oil Exploration, environment, agriculture, decayed infrastructure, oil in the North-East and the lake chad region.
Prior to Saturday’s meeting, a technical committee comprising Secretaries of Governments from the six states and focal persons for the North East Development Commission had been set up and deliberated extensively for four days to develope the agenda for the meeting.
Source report by Ndahi Marama, National Mail online, August 8, 2020