Saturday, December 19, 2015 7:24 pm
Governors of the 19 northern states, under the auspices of Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, on Saturday, met in Kaduna to stop the Shi’ite sect from becoming another Boko Haram insurgents.
The governors who admitted the north already has the serious problems of Boko Haram to contend with, said they want to look into how to ensure that the last week Saturday’s Zaria Shiite sect and army clash does not provide room for anyone or group to perpetuate violence in any of the 19 northern states.
In his opening remark during the meeting held at General Usman Hassan Katsina State House today, Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum and Borno Governor , Alhaji Kashim Shettima said though the forum is not in any way comparing the Shi’ite Islamic Movement with Boko Haram, it does not want the same mistake that happened over the Boko Haram crisis to repeat itself.
According to him ,when Boko Haram went wild in July 2009 with clashes between them and the police in Bauchi and Maiduguri, most Nigerians saw the issues as the problems of Bauchi and Borno.
He further disclosed that when the sect continued to attack Borno and Yobe, it became the affairs of Borno and Yobe States, but all of a sudden, there was suicide attack in Abuja in 2012 and then everything went out of control and “we are where are today.”
While explaining that part of the reasons the governors are in Kaduna was in connection with what happened in Zaria, Shettima also said it is also because the issue has to do with an Islamic group that has membership across the 19 northern states and beyond.
He reiterated, ” We do not make any comparison between the murderously violent Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic Movement but we are here to analyze and ensure that we take measures that will close any avenue which some people may want to seize to create violence in the immediate or long run.”
However, he noted that Kaduna is the socio-political heart of northern Nigeria , stressing, ” Kaduna is to us, what Lagos is to the South West. What affects Kaduna State invariably affects the whole north.”
He also emphasized that Kaduna as the former headquarters of northern Nigeria , must be accorded the relevance it deserves. “We have a duty to preserve history and our values by coming here. ” He stated.
The Chairman of Northern governors forum at the meeting which commenced by 4.30pm , hinted that they expected to be briefed on the Zaria incident and then compare thoughts analytically and extensively.
He said the governors would be looking at any other matter that affects the well being of the north and shall brief the media on issues that they don’t consider too security sensitive to make public.
Meanwhile he made it very clear, the Northern Governors ’ Forum is not in Kaduna to do the job of the Kaduna State Government or because there is anything missing in the measures taken by the Kaduna State Government.
“We are very confident in the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, his competence and character have never come under any doubt. Soon after the Zaria crisis, the Governor was at the scene and he spoke with the leader of the Islamic Movement and met the Chief of Army Staff.” He noted.
He maintained that El-Rufai addressed the people of Kaduna State on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and the fact that the government took some far reaching measures it considers necessary is an indication that he is on ground and knows the subject matter more than us and he knows the steps he deems most suitable after his extensive consultations. So, we are not here to do his job.