Ede Ogaba Ede

Six months after its first meeting, governors of the 19 Northern states under the aegis of Northern Governors Forum and traditional rulers from the region are meeting again, this time to brainstorm on a number of sensitive national issues among them the clamour for restructuring, increased cases of insecurity such as kidnappings and the bloody farmers/ herdsmen clashes across the country and many other challenges facing the people.

Benue state is represented at the meeting by the Acting governor, Engr Benson Abounu, Secretary to the State Giovernment, Prof Tony Ijohor (SAN) while the TOR Tiv IV and chairman, Benue state Traditional Council, HRM Prof. James Ayatse led the Tor Kwande, HRH Ambrose Iortyer, Tor Gwer, HRM, Chief Julius Aondonna and Ada Otukpo/Ohimini, Chief Oche Okochi to the meeting which is holding at the Usman Katsina House, Kaduna..

Opening the two day meeting, host Governor, Mallam Nasiru El Rufai called for unity in the North and tasked the elites not to exploit their little differences to create more problems for their people but to work together and maximally utilise their numerous advantages to the common good of the people.

Also speaking, the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima represented by Katsina state governor, Alhaji Amina Masari called on leaders of the North to brace up for the mounting challenges facing the area. He condemned the hate speeches and inflammatory and provocative utterances by groups such as IPOB and MASSOB and called on elders of the South East to condemn these hate speeches as was done by the Northern Governors and elders when Arewa youths threatened Ibos resident in the North.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III in his remarks called on religious leaders and all those in positions of authority to carefully weigh their statements before speaking in order not to further polarise and undermine the efforts at regional integration and development.

He charged the governors and traditional rulers to work together more to achieve the common objective of lifting the standard of living of people of the old Northern region.

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