Members of the North East Governors’ Forum have called for the establishment of a sustainable programme for repentant terrorists in the region.
They made the call at the sixth meeting of the forum held on Tuesday in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
At the meeting, the governors discussed the issues of terrorism, kidnapping, and farmers-herders clashes, among other challenges facing the North East.
“The Forum noted the significant improvement in the security situation in the sub-region as evidenced by the mass surrender of Boko Haram fighters and commended the Federal Government for its various initiatives towards stabilising the sub-region,” said a communique issued at the end of the meeting by the forum’s Chairman and Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.
“However, the Forum urged for the establishment of a sustainable programme for the handling of the repentant terrorists. The Forum noted that kidnapping and farmer-herder clashes among others are worrisome in the sub-region and resolved to undertake the necessary measures to curtail the menace.”
Aside from security, the governors deliberated on a presentation by the Minister of Power on the planned and ongoing projects in the North East, which highlighted the challenges of steady power supply to the sub-region.
They also decried the lack of electricity for about one year in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and its environs, and asked the Federal Government to urgently find a lasting solution.
The governors also raised concerns over the non-commissioning of the Dadin Kowa and Kashimbila hydro-power plants which they said was stalling the development of the region.
In an appeal, they advised the Federal Government to increase its investments in the North East to guarantee peace and economic prosperity.
“The Forum deliberated extensively on the Mambilla Hydroelectric project,” the communique added. “It called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to make adequate budgetary provision in the 2022 appropriation bill for the implementation of the project.
“The Forum, while recognising that the 2022 budget is in its final stages, calls on the National Assembly to look critically at the sub-region with a view to ensuring that adequate budgetary provisions are made for all major capital projects in the sub-region.”
As part of their resolutions, they agreed to hold the next meeting of the forum from March 9 to 11, 2022 in Gombe State.
Governor Zulum, as well as Governor Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), and Governor Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) attended the meeting while Governor Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Governor Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Governor Darius Ishaku (Taraba), were represented by their deputies.