Wednesday, 15 August 2012

BOKO HARAM: At last Northern Govs intervene

The Northern States
Governors Forum recently set
up a committee to look into
the state of insecurity in the
region. The move considered
belated in some quarters, is
the first overt move by the
northern governors to stem
the crisis that has turned the
region into a theatre of war.
THE decision of the
governors of the 19
northern states to set up a
41-man committee to
address the spate of
bombings and other terrorist
actions in the region came
out of the blue. For long the
governors had kept mute on
the issue with many of them
skirting around calls for
decisiveness from the
populace.
Their silence and that of
other notable northern
leaders at one point forced
the President of the Senate,
Senator David Mark, to chide
them over what he
insinuated was either
cowardice or cringing fear.
Speaking during an Arewa
Consultative Forum, ACF,
summit in January, Senator
Mark berated Northern
leaders over their inability to
condemn terrorism in the
region. He had fumed:
“Won’t we be able to
condemn current degree of
insecurity in the North
occasioned and heightened
by Boko Haram? Are we
afraid to openly condemn
Boko Haram either for
political reasons or out of
fear of possible attack by the
sect? ”
Despite this challenge by
Mark and several others,
nothing much came from the
northern leaders and
governors except, calls now
and then, for dialogue with
the sect by a few northern
radicals such as Alhaji
Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Ali
Monguno, Shehu Sani and
the Arewa Consultative
among others.
The 41-man rescue squad:
The seeming quietness
inevitably sent signals of
acceptance of the actions of
the Boko Haram group by
the northern leaders. Even
when northerners and
Muslims were the subject of
the attack as it happened in
Kano last January, not much
expression of revulsion was
expressed. It was as such
not surprising that some
alleged that Boko Haram had
become a tool by the north’s
elite to negotiate power
ahead of the 2015 general
elections.
Peaceful coexistence
Suggestions to that effect
now seem to be punctured
with the recent formation of
the 41-man panel to tackle
the Boko Haram insurgency
by the northern governors.
Put together at the instance
of the Northern States
Governors Forum, NSGF, the
term of reference “is to
engender the restoration of
the most desired peaceful
co-existence, unity and
development in the entire
region.”
The Committee is expected to
be inaugurated next
Wednesday in Abuja.
Members of the panel are
Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim,
Prof. Tijani El-Miskin, Prof.
Shedrack Best, Alhaji
Abubakar Tsav, Prof. Habu
Galadima, AIG Hamisu Ali Jos
(rtd), Gen. Martin Luther
Agwai (rtd), Prof.
Muhammad Akaro Mainoma,
Hajiya Dije Bala, Maj.
Gen.Yakubu Usman (rtd),
Prof. Sani Abdulkadir, AVM
Mukhtar Mohammed (rtd),
Justice Umaru Abdullahi,
Hajia Mariam Uwais, Aminu
Ibrahim Daurawa, Group
Capt. Bilal Bulama (rtd), Col
Musa Shehu (rtd), Iliya Ithuve,
Ali M. Dandiya, Gen. GP Zidon
(rtd) and Justice Usman Baba
Liman among others.
Justifying the convening of
the panel, a statement signed
by the Secretary to the
Government of Niger State
and Chairman, Forum of
Secretaries to the
Government of Northern
States, Mr. Daniel Shashere,
said the mandate is to
fashion out strategies to
address the disturbing state
of insecurity, and proffer
practical and enduring
solutions.
“The negative consequences
of insecurity for freedom,
liberties and the thriving
economic activities within
the northern states are very
serious. It is in recognition
and total concern for the
hard-earned national peace
and harmony of our great
country, Nigeria that the
Forum decided at its meeting
held on Thursday July 26,
2012 to constitute a high-
powered committee to
handle issues bordering on
reconciliation, healing, peace
and security within the
troubled areas across the
northern states of the
federation,” Shashere noted.
Nonetheless, some are
sceptical about this move,
given the delay in the action.
“For making that move, they
have toed the line of wise
reasoning, but why doing it
this late. It would be a
success if there is sincerity of
purpose on the part of the
governors, but anything
short of dispassionate

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