IN SEARCH OF PEACE: Northwest governors converge in Katsina

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In the search of peace in the Northwest region of Nigeria, the governors of the region converged in Katsina to seek ways and means of addressing the issue.

The gathering was tagged North West Peace and Security Summit and drew the governors of the seven states in the region. The states are Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, KEBBI, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara and representatives of the United Nations Development Programmed, UNDP.

Vice President Kashim Shettima shaking hands with Muhammadu Buharin, former president

The summit, themed “Regional Cooperation for Securing Lives and Livelihoods in North-West Nigeria,” was graced by the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Kashim Shettima, representing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

A statement by Ibrahim Kaula,, Chief Press Secretary to Katsina State Governor said

“Vice President Shettima, in his keynote address announced that the Federal Government has launched Pulaku Resettlement Initiative as a non-kinetic intervention to address some of the root causes of disputes and insecurity in the North-West.

A cross section of participants at the summit

“The pilot phase will be implemented in Sokoto, Kebbi, Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger and Kaduna States”. Shettima stressed.

 Vice President  Shettima  further explained that the comprehensive plan includes building residences, roads, schools and essential facilities, symbolizing the government’s commitment to sustainable development and a unified, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

In the same vein, Vice President . Shettima noted, “The Federal Government is combining military interventions with police reform enhancing local policing, implementing peacebuilding programs, promoting dialogue and launching educational campaigns to address the root causes of conflict.”

Also speaking, the Katsina State Governor and the Chairman of the Northwest Governors Forum,  Malam Dikko Umaru Radda PhD CON, in his welcome address, emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in tackling insecurity. He highlighted the efforts of the North-West Governors Forum in addressing shared issues, particularly in the areas of security, agriculture, and power supply.

“The governors have launched community security initiatives in their respective states, such as the Community Watch Corps in Katsina, to work alongside formal security forces,” Governor Radda pronounced.

He, however, outlined comprehensive strategy to address banditry and food security issues.

 According to him, “These includes strengthening intelligence networks, investing in modern technology such as drones and satellite imagery, enhancing coordination among security agencies and engaging local communities.”

Adding voices to the crucial discussions, key stakeholders emphasized the need for collaborative efforts in addressing the security challenges.

The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, affirmed the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria under President Tinubu’s administration to ending armed conflicts in Nigeria. He stressed the importance of synergy between security agencies and State Governors, stating, “The federal government is open for collaboration among security agencies, and in the days ahead, we will meet with the Governors to deliberate on the outcome of the Summit.”

His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, pledged the support of traditional institutions in tackling security challenges. He called on citizens and communities to join hands with the government and security agencies in combating insecurity, emphasizing the crucial role of grassroots involvement.

The summit also saw participation from international partners. Germany’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Annett Günther, represented at the event, congratulated the federal and state governments for organizing the Summit and assured of the German government’s support in the fight against insecurity.

UNDP Nigeria Country Representative, Elsie Attafuah, called for investment in youth to channel their potential towards profitable ventures and emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in addressing security challenges.

The summit saw an impressive turnout of high-ranking government officials, dignitaries and traditional rulers. These include:  Former President Muhammadu Buhari; Muhammadu Badaru, Minister of Defence; Hanatu Musawa, Minister of Culture and Ahmed Dangiwa, Minister of Housing and Urban Development. North-west governors at the historic event are: Governor Umar Namadi of Jigawa State; Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State; Deputy Governor Hadiza Balarabe, representing Kaduna State; Deputy Governor Idris Mohammed Gobir, representing Sokoto State; Abdullahi Bappa Bichi, Secretary to the State Government, representing Kano State and Deputy Governor Umar Abubakar Tafida of Kebbi State.

Also adding green colour to the event are: Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Kayode Egbetokun, Inspector General of Police; Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, Comptroller General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); Senator Yari Abdulazeez, representing Zamfara West and Business Mogul, Dahiru Mangal. Equally present are, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar CFR; Emir of Katsina, HRH Abdulmumini Kabir Usman; Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu and the Emir Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamali.

The summit aims to foster regional cooperation, pool resources, and leverage collective strengths to address common challenges. Similarly, the summit serves as a platform for sharing ideas, monitoring progress, and holding stakeholders accountable in the fight against insecurity.

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