The governors had at their meeting with northern traditional rulers on Thursday declared that the north would adopt a unified position regarding the debates on restructuring on Friday.
However, at the end of the meeting which was held at government house, Kaduna, the governors set up a 12 member committee headed by Aminu Waziri, Sokoto state governor, to collate views on the agitation for restructuring from individuals, groups and corporate organisations in the north.
Other members of the committee include the governors of Nasarawa, Gombe, Benue, Bauchi and Kaduna states as well as the emirs of Kano, Zazzau (Zaria), Gummi, the Etsu Nupe and the Gbong Gwom Jos and Sonni Gonle Tyoden, deputy governor of Plateau state, as secretary.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Kashim Shettima, chairman of NSGF and Borno state governor, the committee “is to come up with acceptable, tenable and sustainable position for the northern region in consonance with the provisions of the 1999 constitution, taking into cognisance, the current constitutional amendment process going on at the national assembly”.
The governors decried the escalating clashes between farmers and “cattle-rearers”, saying the situation was being worsened by the infiltration of criminal elements from outside the north who pose as Fulani herdsmen.
“The forum therefore, discourages ethicising the deadly conflicts and crimes with the Fulani tribe as other tribe could be cattle-rearers too,” the communiqué read.
“The free movement of persons, goods and services within the West African sub-region as ratified by the ECOWAS Convention should be subjected to the laws of individual member states in order to check cross border crimes, especially cattle rustling.
“Creating more grazing reserves and providing adequate infrastructure in such reserves by way of addressing the needs of cattle-rearers and those of their animals before the enactment of the appropriate legislation will ameliorate the challenges.”
The governors also condemned the recent attack on some NNPC staff, security personnel and the staff of the University of Maiduguri, Borno state which resulted in the suspension of oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin.
They called on the federal government to urgently ensure the reconstitution of the Federal Character Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to enable them to discharge their constitutional responsibilities, saying that the failure to do so had so far resulted in lopsided appointments.
“We re-assure all Nigerians who live in the north of our readiness to protect their lives and property and we therefore call on our colleagues in the south to emulate this gesture.”