By Francis Sardauna
Governors of the 36 states under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have expressed worries over the deteriorating security challenges bedeviling the country, particularly the North-west region.
The Chairman of the Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday in Katsina, said killing, kidnapping and other nefarious activities had become daily occurrence in the country.
Fayemi, flanked by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu; the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, had earlier held a closed-meeting before he addressed newsmen. They were in the state on a solidarity visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
He explained that the Nigeria Governors Forum would be tough on banditry, kidnapping and other criminality in order to tackle the carnage and find a lasting solution to the prevailing security challenges facing farming communities in the zone.
Feyemi, however, urged the governors to take away young Nigerians from the merchants of death who are using them as canon fodders for the criminal brigandage by providing them with alternative means of livelihood and support system in their states.
He said: “We as governors, we are still very concern about the security situation in the North-West and the entire country. This is almost a daily occurrence and the governors are spending the resources; material and human on this priority issue which pervades the whole of our country.
“We are all tired and frustrated that these issues are happening but we know that with concerted efforts on our part as governors and the commitment of the federal government and the professional conducts of our security services. And our social investment programmes intensified, we shall see the end of this criminality, this brigandage in our states”.
He added: “So we are here in solidarity with the governor and the good people of Katsina State to reassure them, give them hope that help is on the way. We will work together and return our country to peace, progress, development and prosperity.
“We have to ensure that our states drive away our young people from the merchants of death who are using them as canon fodders for this criminal brigandage and we can only do that if we provide them with an alternative means of livelihood and support system that will not entice them to these elements that are endangering the whole of our country.
“We believe that we not only have to be tough on banditry, kidnapping and criminality generally but we also have to be tough on the causes of these problems, and social inequality, poverty are key issues”, Feyemi said.
He reiterated that the Forum was committed to working with the federal government and security agencies “so that we don’t keep talking about the same thing over and over again”.