*Pledges to bequeath verile organisation that propels better future for Northern people
*Says “We must work to ensure adequate exploration of huge oil, gas, solid minerals deposits in North for the benefit of our people”
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has been elected as the chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF).
According to a statement signed by the Director- General (Press Affairs)
Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, dated Tuesday May 23, 2023, the governor was unanimously elected by the 19 Northern governors during their forum’s meeting held on Tuesday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja.
Governor Inuwa takes over from Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State with effect from 29th May, 2023.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Inuwa promised to justify the confidence reposed in him by his colleagues across party devides.
He emphasized that the good legacies of the Forum will be sustained to bequeath not only virile organisation, but a better future for the people of the north at the end of his tenure as chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.
Inuwa assured his fellow Northern Governors that in line with the objectives of the Northern Governor’ Forum, he will strive to sustain the strides left behind by his predecessors.
He said the focus of the NSGF on economic development will be the driving force of the Forum while his chairmanship lasts.
He observed that the region is challenged by insurgency in the North East, ethnic and religious crisis within the North Central as well as farmers/herders clashes and the subsequent effect of banditry and cattle rustling among others.
The new NSGF chairman noted that in spite of the social and economic challenges confronting the northern region, the Forum has made tremendous impact and has changed the tide for the betterment of its people.
He remarked that since the focus of the NSGF is built on addressing such social challenges, the Forum, under his leadership will do everything possible to ensure that they are addressed in the Interest and benefits of the people.
“We will work hard to ensure that we catch up with the rest of the country, possibly with the developed parts of the world so that our people will feel the impact of good governance we all pursue”.
He expressed delight with the commencement of drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin which has brought to three drilling sites in the North to include Kolmani in Gombe and Bauchi and the one in Nasarawa State.
He assured that the forum will see to the actualization of the exploration of the large oil and gas deposits in the North for the benefit of the people.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya noted that the Northern region of the country is sitting on not only oil and gas deposits. but solid minerals which the forum has no reason not to exploit and put to use for the benefit of the people.
The Gombe State Governor used the occasion to thank the outgoing chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Plateau State Governor Right Hon. Simon Bako Lalong for his administrative ingenuity despite numerous challenges in his state in particular and the North in general.
He said the NSGF will continue to work with past leadership of the forum in order to consolidate on the gains so far recorded and to properly place it on the smooth trajectory of social cohesion, economic emancipation and infrastructural development.
The outgoing chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, said Governor Inuwa was elected to chair the NSGF in view of his experience, sterling leadership qualities and commitment to good governance.
He urged him to bring to bear his pedigree of excellence in running the affairs of the Northern Governors Forum.
Giving synopsis of his stewardship, the Plateau Governor said the past four years have been eventful just as they were challenging in various sectors.
He said the forum had to deal with many issues that affected the northern states individually and the region as a whole.
“As you are all aware, our region for the most part of the period under review continued to face serious challenges with the incidences of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and other violent crimes that impacted negatively on the lives of the people and the economy of the entire region. However, with our collective and individual efforts coupled with the support of the Federal Government and security agencies, we were able to do our best to contain the situation.
“Without the series of meetings and engagements we held, our people would have been thrown into deeper hunger and despair as the threat by criminals restrained them from engaging in farming which is the main economic activity of the region.
“Although we have not overcome this challenge completely, we have substantially improved the situation. We hope that the incoming Governors and those continuing their second terms will work together with the Federal Government to ensure the region is secure”.