Participants at the just-concluded dialogue on the North and Strategies for Sustainable Development have called for the harmonisation of the Northern Elders Forum and the Northern Governors, with a view to creating a formidable and all-inclusive northern platform. This is just as they called for the need to strategise for the 2015 elections.
A communiqué made available to journalists at the end of the two-day conference, signed by Dr. Usman Bugaje, emphasised the need for all the groups to work with the aim of promoting northern interests within a greater Nigeria under one platform.
Organised by the Arewa Research and Development Programme (ARDP) under the auspices of Arewa House Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, Ahmadu Bello University, the participants expressed concern over the failure of the Nigerian state to protect lives and property, as well as its inability to provide basic social services and guarantee freedom and rights of citizens.
"The systematic erosion of cherished values of honesty, tolerance and integrity that were once the hallmark of public service in the North have resulted in bad governance, disregard for the rule of law and general decadence.
"Social indicators and statistics for all human development perspectives show the crises in education, health, water and sanitation services, thereby placing the region far below its counterparts in the country."
"The effect of the current insurgency of Ahlas Sunna li dawa'atiwal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, and other forms of insecurity, have impacted negatively on the socio-economic, political and religious life of the people.