8 December 2012

Nigeria: Northern Leaders Want Genuine Talks With Sect

Bauchi and Kaduna — Northern leaders including General Abubakar Abdulsalami (rtd) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the weekend rose from a conference on the North with a resolution to create a strong and united platform to address the current security situation and mapped out strategies for 2015.

Participants at the conference tagged " The North and Strategies for Sustainable Development " included Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Kaduna State |Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, former governors, Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF), Alhaji Aliko Mohammed stood in for former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and many elders of the region.

Reading the communiqué issued at the end of the two-day conference, Dr. Usman Bugage said the current insurgency of AhlasSunna li dawa'atiwal Jihad and other forms of insecurity had impacted negatively on the socio-economic, political and the religious life of the people.

"Economic growth and development, commerce and trade in both formal and informal sectors of the northern states are being stifled with multiplier effects on the larger national and African sub-regional economies," they said.

The conference expressed concern over the conduct of the JTF and how the fundamental rights of the citizens of the north are being violated in clear breach of the rules of engagement.

They urged the Federal Government to liaise with state governors, the affected communities and religious leaders to genuinely dialogue with the insurgents with the view to ending the insecurity in the North.

The participants also called for the development of all sources of energy in the north to meet the domestic and industrial requirements of the region.

On agriculture, the participants said the North has to modernize its agriculture with all the priority attention required to return the region to its erstwhile leading position as the food basket of the nation.

Also, yesterday the North East Summit for economic transformation of the region urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts to dialogue with Boko Haram insurgents to have a lasting peace that will bring about socio economic growth and development in region.

The call was made in a 21-point communiqué issued at the end of two-day North Eastern Alliance for Transformation summit held at Yankari Game Reserve Bauchi.

The summit also called on the governors from the zone to pool their resources to meet the challenges of insecurity, health, agriculture, tourism, culture among others.

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