Abuja — New leadership, yesterday emerged for the nineteen Northern States Speakers' Forum. The forum is made up of House of Assembly speakers of the nineteen northern states.
In a communiqué issued in Kaduna at the end of the 14th conference of the forum, Borno State House of Assembly's speaker, Hon. Goni Ali Modu was unanimously elected as chairman, while that of Benue State, Hon.Tersser Tsumba was elected as his vice. The post of general secretary went to Hon. Umar Isa Mungadi of Kebbi State and Hon.Abdullahi B. Salame of Sokoto State was the treasurer; while the speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Ikara was elected financial secretary.
In his handover speech, the former chairman of the forum and speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Isa Bio Ibrahim, said, "From a humble beginning, the forum has grown to be a formidable pressure group and opinion moulder of national repute. From a little mustard seed, our forum has developed to a giant oak in the desert.
"I am pleased to say that the forum has assisted greatly to forge the unity of the North irrespective of our socio-cultural, religious or political beliefs. On issues of national interest, the forum was able to speak with one voice. The agitation for the return of the presidency to the North was one of such issues and we are all living witnesses of the outcome of this today".
He also added that, prior to 2003, meetings of the forum were rarely held; but since his assumption of leadership, meetings were held almost quarterly and in rotation among state members, noting that the idea was to afford members a first class opportunity of the socio-cultural, political and cultural peculiarities of each member state. And that it also afforded the host states the opportunity to showcase their state governments as well as draw federal government's attention to abandoned federal projects in the states.
In his acceptance speech, the new chairman, Hon. Goni Ali Modu, pledged to maintain the tempo and continue charting the course of the forum for the overall protection of the nation's interests and development.
The communiqué also appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency to come to the aid of Dadinkowa communities in Gombe State and Darazo local government in Bauchi State where over 300 families were rendered homeless, as well as Yankwashi in Jigawa State and Rijiya in Gusau local government of Zamfara State where flood has destroyed a lot of houses.
They further congratulated the speakers of Adamawa, Kogi and Sokoto who acted as governors for being able to conduct the affairs of their respective states creditably, and for conducting free and fair elections rerun in their respective states.