By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON and Chairman of Northern States’ Governors’ Forum has pledged to lead the process of sustaining peace in the 19 states in Northern Nigeria.
He aims to change the narrative and create room for more development in the region.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya made this declaration after meeting behind closed doors with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He stated that he would work with the support of the Federal government and various State governments to find solutions to the problems in the region.
He said: “As the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, I will ensure that we get to the roots of all the problems and through the support of the Federal government and the various State governments, we will come up with the solutions; things that will trigger positive actions and reactions and very soon by the grace of God, the narrative will change and we will have a peaceful north that is contributing to the development and prosperity of Nigeria.”
The Governor also plans to replicate the formula used in Gombe State to sustain peace in all parts of the region.
“There is peace in Gombe for so many reasons like the nature of our people. We are a mixture of people of several ethnic groups and religions living together peacefully. Within a family, you can have people of different faiths but having the same parents and because of that, the background is so unique that we have built on it to sustain the relationship.
“Secondly the government is focused on security and is working day and night together with the security agencies in the State to ensure that there is compliance with law and order and that is feasible to a reasonable extent in Gombe.
“Then there are issues that have to do with resources especially land, because our people are peasant farmers, those involved in crop production and livestock production so in-between, because of the encroachment of our grazing and forest reserves plus the cattle routes, issues resulted into rustling, banditry and kidnap for ransom, which is prevalent in the North-West and North-Central.
“So, at the moment we are focusing on maintaining the peace by providing resources for everybody and every sector in a way that we always understand and cooperate with one another for the purpose of sustaining peace and tranquillity in the State and that is why Gombe has made some difference,” he said.
On the menace of flooding, the Chairman said all hands must be on the deck to salvage the situation.
He said: “You see flooding too is a global or national phenomenon that really is being felt elsewhere. Mind you, if you talk of flood from the north is either through the tributaries of the rivers, Niger and Benue, that link up the conference in Lokoja and then run down to the Delta ending in Bayelsa to the Atlantic Ocean and those tributaries as a result of the change in the nature and geography. There is siltation, a lot of siltation and also as a result of poor farming practices, and deforestation, the forest and our farms have now turned into a gateway for the desert. And those exacerbated sanitation that takes place along the streams and rivers. So we must work as one people.
“The problem of flooding is virtually a national issue now, you know, global warming and climate change is affecting the entire globe, and for that, we are strategizing. We would not like a repeat of what happened last year to occur again this year. But in whatever we do, we have to be both proactive and reactive.
“We have not acted in the way that we solved all the problems of last year, and this year has started. So we need to double you know, we’ll do some little backtracking and move in double loss to catch up with the current trends and do the needful. So all hands must be on deck NiMET, the states, NEMA and whoever has interest in environment and environmental control has to come together and work with the government in order to solve the problem.”