Chairman of the NGF, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State
By Chuks Okocha, Victor Efeizomor, Emmanuel Ugwu and Anayo Okolie
Increasingly concerned by the growing spate of terror attacks, the latest which resulted in the murder of Senator Gyang Dantong, the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Gyang Fulani, and more than 100 victims in Plateau State, state governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) are scheduled to meet Wednesday in Abuja.
The governors will be expected to discuss, among other contentious issues, the nation’s security challenges.
The need to convene the meeting by the governors followed the continued condemnations over the killing of the lawmakers by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, his Abia State counterpart, Chief Theodore Orji, and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who decried the killing of innocent Nigerians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State.
THISDAY gathered that the governors were summoned by the Chairman of the NGF, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, so they can deliberate on the security implications of the massacre of more than 100 people, including the killing of Dantong and Fulani.
It was also gathered that the governors will also renew their demand for state policing as part of the constitution review and the eradication of polio from the country.
In their last meeting on June 25, the governors had demanded the creation of state police commands, and condemned the spate of insecurity and violence in the country and called for a multi-dimensional approach in tackling the situation.
The governors also emphasised the need for state policing, which they said, had become necessary to combating insecurity at state levels.
This, they argued, had become necessary because the state governments were currently overstretched in funding security.
The governors also stressed the need for a special intervention fund from the Federal Government, particularly for states that are mostly affected by terrorist attacks.
In a related development, while Uduaghan expressed sadness over the killings, which Orji described as senseless, Tinubu said the killings were an affront on God and humanity, which sooner than later, would be triumphed by moral conscience.
Uduaghan in a condolence message issued in Asaba, and signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Sunny Ogefere, said: “These attacks have degenerated to an intolerable level.
“It is unwarranted and wicked for people to just rise up and hack fellow Nigerians to death when we are not at war. This is condemnable and not acceptable and we must all join hands with the Federal Government to stop it.”
On his part, Orji in a statement signed by his CPS, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, said that the murder of Dantong and Fulani was callous and senseless.
According to him, such massacre was undermining the quest for peace, unity and co-existence of all Nigerians irrespective of creed, adding that the killing of the two lawmakers was a big blow not only to the National Assembly, Plateau State Government and the state House of Assembly but to all Nigerians of goodwill.
Tinubu, who said the attack was more than a crime, in a statement he personally signed, added that “such violence has no place among us. There is no reason imaginable that can legitimise the killing and destruction.”
The former governor stated: “To kill innocent people is always indefensible. To kill those who were merely seeking to bury their loved ones is the handcraft of wickedness. It is a lowly abomination.
“The perpetrators struck in wanton lethality in apparent hope that their deeds will spark a cycle of violence and retribution setting the nation against itself, as such. They seek to turn Nigeria into a factory of lawlessness.”
Speaking further, Tinubu said: “Their plan was inhuman; their actions vile; their objective will never succeed. They may have wounded Nigeria. Yet, after all the sacrifices and hardship Nigeria has experienced, this nation will never succumb to their terrible designs.
“There are no differences that anyone can have with government that justifies this unpardonable act. This was more than senseless revenge against government; it was an attack against the people of Nigeria and our way of life.”
He said the unfolding tragedy and the inability of the current government to bring the situation under control confirmed fears that the nation is on a free fall under an incompetent leadership.