Amidst the worsening security challenge plaguing the country, the six governors of the North East geo-political zone have asked the federal government to deploy more state of the art military hard ware to the armed forces fighting the Boko Haram in the area.
The governors under the aegis of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NGF) in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Borno also pledged their readiness to work in unity in order to effectively tackle insurgency in their zone.
In the communiqué signed by their chairman and Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum also commended the government in its efforts in combating the security problems facing the zone and other parts of the country.
They urged the armed forces to intensify efforts to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region and ensure safe access to farm lands.
“The Forum recommends that the manpower deficit in the Nigerian Armed Forces should be bridged by allowing the Police to carry state of the art weapons where necessary and be provided with strategic equipment like high velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC),” the governors said.
While pledging to work together to foster regional integration, growth and development, especially in exploitation of its oil and gas potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialization, the governors also called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that attention was given to recharging the Lake Chad from national water bodies and strengthening the river basins in the sub region.
They also called on the Federal Government to revoke selected road contracts awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works for years without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors with funding to ensure timely execution.
The governors urged the Federal Government to ensure local content in the execution of the Mambila Hydro electric power project and other programmes of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to ensure synergy with state governments.
It expressed the support of the governors for the management and board of NEDC and their determination to work together in producing a comprehensive strategic master plan for the region that would ensure sustainable development.
“The Forum affirmed its commitment to support the Federal Government agenda of transforming the Almajiri system with a view to strengthening both Islamic and western education as well as stopping street begging and prevalence of out of school children in the region as agreed by the Northern governors.
“The Forum also nominated Zulum as Chairman of the Forum for a period of two years and the headquarters of the Forum will be located in Maiduguri,” it said.
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