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Northern governors meet over Shi’ite/Army clash, moves to prevent another Boko Haram mistake

By Garba Ahmed, Kaduna on 20/12/2015

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The 19 Northern Governors met Saturday evening in Kaduna over the recent clashes between the Shi’ites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria.

In his opening briefing, Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, noted that the forum is not in Kaduna to do the job of the Kaduna State Governor “or because there is anything missing in the measures taken by the Kaduna State Government.”

Continuing, he said: “We are very confident in the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, his competence and character have never come under any doubt. Soon after the Zaria crisis, the Governor was at the scene and he spoke with leader of the Islamic Movement and met the Chief of Army Staff.

“He addressed the people of Kaduna State on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and the Government took some firm far reaching measures it considers necessary. Malam El-Rufai is the man on ground, he knows the subject matter more than us and he knows the steps he deems most suitable after his extensive consultations. So, we are not here to do his job.”

Mr. Shettima explained that the forum decided to intervene because the issue has to do with an Islamic group that has membership across the 19 states in the North and beyond.

He said the forum would want to look at how to ensure that the incident does not provide room for anyone or group to perpetuate violence in any of the 19 northern states.

According to him, “We already have the serious problems of Boko Haram to contend with. We are not in any way comparing the Islamic Movement with Boko Haram, no. But we don’t want the same mistake that happened over the Boko Haram crisis to repeat itself.

“When Boko Haram went wild in July 2009 with clashes between them and the police in Bauchi on 25th and 26th in Maiduguri, most Nigerians saw the issues as the problems of Bauchi and Borno.

“When they continued to attack Borno and Yobe, it became the affairs of Borno and Yobe states. All of a sudden, there was suicide attack in Abuja in 2012 and then everything went out of control and we are where are today. 

“So, like I said, we do not make any comparison between the murderously violent Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic Movement but we are here to analyse and ensure that we take measures that will close any avenue which some people may want to seize to create violence in the immediate or long run. Moreover, Kaduna is the socio-political heart of the northern Nigeria.

“Kaduna is to us, what Lagos is to the South West. What affects Kaduna State invariably affects the whole north. If you notice, we make it a duty to travel to Kaduna to hold our meeting instead of holding it in Abuja. Kaduna is the headquarters of the northern Nigeria but it will have that significance if we accord it the relevance it deserves. We have a duty to preserve history and our values by coming here.

“While here, we will be briefed on the Zaria incident and we will compare thoughts analytically and extensively. We will also be looking any other matter that affects the well being of the north and we shall brief the media on issues that we don't consider too security sensitive to make public.”

•Photo shows some Northern Governors.

Source News Express

Posted 20/12/2015 05:24:41 AM

 

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