Governors of states in the Northeast geopolitical zone have called on the Federal Government to adequately equip the military and other security agencies to be able to combat the Boko Haram insurgency and other violent crimes in the region.
The governors made the call after a meeting of the Northeast Governors Forum in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital at the weekend.
According to them, this is the only way government can deal with the insurgency problem and pave way for safe access to farm lands by millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
The Chairman of the forum, Professor Babagana Zulum, who is also the Borno State Governor, stated this while reading the communique issued at the end of the meeting.
The communique read: “The Forum commends the effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria in fighting insurgency. However, the Armed Forces should intensify effort to secure hard-to-reach areas in the region and ensure safe access to farm lands.
“The Forum called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the deployment of state-of-the-art military hardware to the region.
“The Forum recommends that the manpower deficit in the Nigerian Armed Forces be bridged by allowing the Police to carry state-of-the-art weapons where necessary and be provided with strategic equipment, such as high velocity tear gas, trackers and Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC.
“The Forum calls on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that attention is given to recharging the Lake Chad from National water bodies and strengthen the river basins in the sub-region.
“The Forum pledges to work together to foster regional integration, growth and development, especially in exploitation of its oil and gas potentials, mineral resources, agriculture and industrialization.
“The Forum called on the Federal Government to revoke selected road contracts awarded by Federal Ministry of Works for years without progress and re-award same to more competent contractors and fund to ensure timely execution
“The Forum urged the Federal Government to ensure local content in the execution of the Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project and other programmes of the North East Development Commission to ensure synergy with state governments.
“The Forum supports the management and Board of the North East Development Commission and agreed to work together in producing comprehensive strategic Master Plan for the region that will ensure sustainable development.”
At the meeting were governors of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe; Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa; and Professor Babagana Zulum, Borno, while governors of Taraba and Yobe, Darius Ishaku and Mai Mala Buni, were represented by their deputies.
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