The Northern Governors’ Forum has urged the Nigerian Military to neutralize Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, or kidnapping syndicate members who fail to surrender in the ongoing mass surrender by terrorists in the sub-region.
The call was made on Saturday, September 9, when the North East Governors’ Forum ( NEGF) held its 8th meeting in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Chairman of the NEGF, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, commended the troops for the relative peace in the sub-region that facilitated the return of normalcy in many areas.
He said there was a need to smoke the remnants that refused to surrender from their hideout.
“Let me use this auspicious occasion to commend our brave military in the fight against the insurgency, which remains unquestionable while their determination to succeed is very glaring.
“No doubt, they have considered and acted upon a wide range of options in the fight against terrorism, thereby recording tremendous progress, which has clearly indicated that the end to the insurgency in the sub-region is fast approaching.
“I want to call on the Nigerian military to reach into the enclaves of the insurgents who are not ready to lay down their arms. We must pursue them to their hideouts in the remote nook and cranny and neutralise those who refuse to surrender,” Daily Trust quoted Zulum as saying.
Zulum regretted the negative effect of insurgency that affected the socioeconomic activities in the sub-region. According to him, efforts to improve things would continue to slow down in the sub-region until the terrorists were subdued.
The governor also spoke on the erratic rainfall recorded this year, and last year’s flood which devastated food and infrastructure in the sub-region and urged for the Federal Government’s intervention.
He said on their part, the northeast governors had taken measures to repair some of the damages done.
“I urge us to collectively strategise and develop new adaptable farming methods to mitigate the impact of the low rainfall on crop cultivation this farming season.
“Therefore, there is the need for us to focus more on irrigation farming this time around more than ever before.
“I urge the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to focus on the support for irrigation farming in the sub-region in addition to its key mandate of providing critical infrastructure for the sustainable development of the sub-region,” The governor said.
While speaking on illegal mining in the area, Zulum sought a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to curb the activities of such miners.
He also drew the attention of the forum to the recent amendment to the 1999 Constitution, which saw the removal of Power Generation and Railway Transportation from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.
He said that the development was important for them to exploit towards the provision of independent power supply and rail transportation in the sub-region.
Vice President Kashim Shettima graced the opening of the meeting and presentation of N15 billion palliatives to the governors by NEDC and commended the governors for their unity in facing challenges in spite of party differences.
He urged them to sustain the tempo.