By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The rising cases of insecurity is slowing down the Northern region of NIgeria, preventing it from harnessing its rich human resources and other potentials.
Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Honourable Simon Lalong stated this in his speech at the forum’s meeting at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House Kaduna on Thursday.
“For instance, the issue of insecurity has become a clog in the wheel of progress such that farming which is a major preoccupation of our people is being hampered. The result is that the economy of the nation is gradually being affected and food security also jeopardized.
“That is why we have remained resolute is supporting and advising the Federal Government, collaborating with relevant security agencies and also using opportunities at our disposal to work for a more secured nation.
“Just last week, we met here in Kaduna to engage the heads of security agencies on the way forward just as we did during the tenure of the former Service Chiefs. We shall continue to engage other stakeholders as we seek solutions to the cases of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities,” he said.
He added that, “Statistics have shown that we have a long way to go in terms of education, healthcare delivery, infrastructural development, food security, industrialization and human capital development among others. All these are exacerbated by the insecurity that has bedeviled us and the entire nation for many years now.
“This is why at several periods, we set up various Committees to look into specific issues and advise us on what kind of measures to adopt in changing the narrative. I am glad that at this meeting, we shall be receiving and considering several reports from those committees with a view to charting a new way forward.”
Lalong stressed that their region continues to carry perhaps the heaviest burden of development in the country where the indices for quality of life are low within a large percentage of their population.
While welcoming his colleagues to the meeting, Lalong said that it is long overdue and crucial for the development of their people and the progress of our nation.
“You will recall that we have met here severally to discuss issues that affect us directly as the North and generally as a Nation. We put in place different Committees to examine some of these issues and report to the Forum.
“In our last enlarged meeting with Chairmen of Traditional Councils in the North and representatives of National Assembly, we agreed to take two days to come back to Kaduna to receive these reports and discuss them extensively. I want to register our sincere appreciation to the Governor of Kaduna State for once again hosting this meeting,” he said.
He thanked President Muhammad u Buhari for declaring their last gathering open, while commending him for sacrifices made.
“In addition to inviting Mr. President to declare this event opened, we have invited the Chairmen of Council of Emirs and Chiefs in Northern Nigeria, Representatives of the National Assembly from the region and other critical stakeholders to address us on various issues from their perspectives so as to assist us engage in robust discourse that will benefit our people and the entire nation.
“Let me therefore register our profound appreciation to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari and all our invitees for honouring our invitation to be part of this historic gathering. History will not forget this sacrifice and love you have demonstrated for the Northern region and Nigeria,” he added.