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Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has blamed northern governors for the high level of insecurity in the northern region of the country, saying the abandonment of youths in the region over time is a time bomb waiting to explode.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the group, Ambassador Shehu Malami, said the insecurity caused by this abandonment of northern youths, is the reason for the banditry, kidnapping, herders/farmers clashes that had also spread to other parts of the country.
According to him, the failure of governors in the north to address the negative socio-economic situation youths from the region were going through, which had pushed most of them into criminality, has set the north backward by many years.
“It appears our leadership in the north is yet to understand and appreciate the bad situation of our youths. They are a time bomb which can explode at any given moment,’’ he said.
“Our leaders must show enough seriousness on the future well-being of the youths. They must find the way and means to encourage them in productive activities.
‘’As critical stakeholders, it behoves on us to conscientiously address our state governments in the north to take decisive actions towards industrialising the region.
“Northern governors and persons of means should be in a position to establish banking and other financial institutions to facilitate growth and development.
‘’Solid minerals and other resources abound in every state of our region which should be tapped as a matter of priority and urgency for our collective good.
“Our governments in the region should be made to understand this fact; to neglect agriculture is to court disaster and peril to ourselves.
“Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani wanton killings and kidnappings, herders/farmers face off, and other insurgent groups masquerading as the Fulani, have come to pose a more security challenge facing the governments and citizens, particularly in the north.”
On resource control and other forms of agitations, he said: “While we do not harbour any fears for all these gimmicks, we must seriously be on our guard to stem any untoward moves from any group on our region.
“We need proper preparation, even if dialogue is preferred against any form of physical confrontation. It is for this that the ACF should take every reasonable step to interface with our counterparts, such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South Peoples Conference, the Oduduwa, PANDEF and Afenifere as proposed last week during the NEC meeting of the ACF.’’
Malami called on the northern governors to industrialise the region as well as establish financial institutions to facilitate employment and development. He also insisted on dialogue with other regional groups, such as the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, its counterpart in the South East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to enthrone peace in the north and Nigeria in general.