The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has reportedly made an important demand from President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Nation reports that the governors forum under the chairmanship of the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, on Monday called on Mr. President to declare war on the Boko Haram terrorist group, whose arms struggle have claimed thousands of lives in the northern part of the country.
Aliyu, who made the call while speaking in Kaduna at the inauguration of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Office building, stated that the North’s woes started with the assassination of the Sarduna of Sokoto in the January 15, 1966 coup.
The governor pointed out that the Boko Haram terrorists group had declared war against Nigerians hence they must be fought as enemies.
“They are no more terrorists but rebels, who have declared war against their country and have acquired illegal territories; we must therefore crush them. Unfortunately, our job is complicated by the present predicaments in the country Boko Haram, insecurity and abject poverty, among others. Therefore, we must as leaders all come together on bipartisan or non-partisan basis to encourage Mr. President and the Federal Government to declare total war and eliminate Boko Haram in our midst before the 2015 elections. I have heard many people saying that Boko Haram are Nigerians; any Nigerian, and any citizen that picks arms against his country should be declared as non citizens,” Aliyu said.
The NSGF chairman, who noted that there is a limit to what the government can do because they have been proactive about the sect’s activities, said it was in the hands of the Federal Government and President to declare total war on the terrorists group. He hinted that before such war should be declared, it was imperative to go back to the constitution, adding that since the National conference has been held, we should also go back and look at the issues raised with the aim to correct the difference between the federating unit and the federal government.
He further stressed that the Boko Haram is no more terrorists as it affects all of us, and urged Nigerians to join heads together, noting that it was not an issue of the APC or PDP.
“We also need to come to terms with the reality that the nation cannot depend on the oil economy; we must continue to diversify into agriculture and solid minerals. We must also pursue the issue of state police so that we can have a stronger and rational say in the security of our states and account for our actions and inactions,” he said.
Aliyu, however, thanked his counterparts, members of the NSGF and the Board of Trustees of the foundation for their support, cooperation and encouragement, for making it possible for his chairmanship to build such monumental legacy in the records of modern Northern Nigerian history.
“Like Sardauna, we must individually and collectively keep our date with history and write our own scripts for the appreciation of the unborn generations,” he said.
Speaking also at the event, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State, urged the 19 states governors in the North to commence coordinated development plan that will ensure rapid economic growth and infrastructural development of the region.
It would be recalled that the National Council of State on Thursday, July 31, resolved to give President Goodluck Jonathan their full support in order to put an end to Boko Haram by December 2014.