By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says it is against ethnic profiling of crime and criminality in the country.
The NGF Chairman, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, gave this indication when he briefed State House correspondents after an emergency meeting of the forum at the State House Banquet Hall.
The meeting, in which the governors comprehensively reviewed the state of security across the states, started at 9 pm on Wednesday and lasted until midnight.
“And some of the issues that were reviewed included, but not limited to the farmers/herders conflict, banditry and kidnapping, militancy and sea piracy, cultism, youth protests and insurgency.
“And the following recommendations firmly came out of our meeting:
“Governors are irrevocably committed to the protection of lives and property in our states and we are full of sympathy with those who have lost lives and property.
“The governors’ forum has gone ahead also to provide some financial support to victims of the conflict experienced in Oyo and Ogun States where our delegation visited last week.
“Nigerian governors also said in very clear terms, that crime and criminality should comprehensively be prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic, religious or any other colouration; governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime; knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world.’’
He cited the ethnic profiling of Jews in Germany which led to the Second World War and that of Tutsis which led to the genocide experienced in Rwanda.
According to him, the NGF does not believe that crimes are associated with a particular ethnic group; and to that extent, it unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethic group on account of particular crime.
He said the governors were also totally opposed to the proliferation of fake news and the abuse on social media.
“Many of us have seen those fake videos that have almost led to reprisals in other parts of the country.
“We want to implore both our main stream media organisations as well as individuals to apply restraint in the way issues relating to security of lives and property are reported.’’
Fayemi said that the meeting also reviewed the challenge of resources for Nigeria’s military institutions.
He said that the NGF welcomed the appointment of new service chiefs and is fully supportive of the work that they have promised to do.
“We hope new security architecture will emerge from this new leadership as the forum would support the dedication of parts of federation accounts to acquisition of military equipment.
“On our part, we are prepared to support the dedication of portions of the Excess Crude Account and the Natural Resource Development Fund or the Economic Stablisation Fund to providing the necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions to address, immediately, the impunity associated with all of the crimes and criminality that we have highlighted in this briefing.’’
The governor said that the forum expressed an interest in strengthening Nigeria’s judicial system so that it could accelerate access to justice for victims of crime and criminality in the country.
He added that the governors deliberated on National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) as the traditional method of grazing was no longer viable.
“And that modern approaches to grazing, livestock management need to be put in place and governors feel strongly that the strengthening of the NLTP will be a good place to start this comprehensive revisiting of the livestock management arrangement,’’ he said. (NAN)