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Banditry: Northern govs meet, review security situation

Worried by the challenge of insecurity in the country, the Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF) met and reviewed the security situation in the Northern Region. The meeting conducted via teleconferencing on Thursday night, was presided over by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong.

The governors expressed concern over the level of insecurity in the region and took certain decisions to contain the situation, while also commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to deal with the security situation in the country and the region.

They also agreed to set up a standing committee on security in the North, which will foster synergy between security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region. The committee to be headed by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, with Governors of Zamfara State, Bello Metawalle and Gombe State, as members. They also set up another committee headed by Lalong on consultation with traditional, religious and community leaders in the North, with a view to ensuring that there is wider involvement in tackling insecurity in the region.

The committee has governors of Adamawa, Niger, and Sokoto states as members. Another decision reached by the governors is the engagement of local vigilantes, hunters, and community watch groups in the security architecture of the region in order to foster intelligence gathering, rapid response and sustained surveillance. The governors also called on the Federal Government to closely look into the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of persons as it relates to the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North. While commending the Nigerian security forces for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region so far, they called for increased synergy which will further enhance their operations and assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals. They also agreed to adopt dialogue where necessary while pursuing military measures in dealing with the various security challenges in the region.

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