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North-West governors seek UN assitance to tackle insecurity, poverty



Governors from Nigeria’s North West region have appealed to the United Nations (UN) for assistance in tackling a number of issues including the security challenges plaguing the area.

The high-level meeting was led by the Chairman of the Northwest Governors Forum and governor of Katsina State, Dikko Radda, alongside governors and representatives from Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.

This was contained in a statement signed by the National Information Officer, UN Information Centre, in Abuja, Oluseyi Soremekun, on Friday.

The Northwest governors highlighted pressing issues including insecurity, multidimensional poverty, a significant number of out-of-school children, increased drug abuse, high child and maternal mortality rates, and substantial youth unemployment.

Radda emphasised the need for a coordinated regional approach to effectively combat poverty and unemployment, the main drivers of insecurity in the region.

“The only way we can surmount the challenges of the Northwest is through a regional approach, which demands that we work together in a coordinated manner.

“We need to collectively fight poverty and unemployment, being the major root causes of insecurity in the region,” he said.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mohamed Fall, expressed his appreciation for the strong leadership and commitment shown by the Northwest governors.

Fall assured them of the UN’s support in tackling the region’s development issues.

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“The UN in Nigeria is encouraged to see the strong leadership and commitment of Northwest Governors to improving the well-being of their people.

“We will continue to support the government and people of Northwest Nigeria.

“Together, we will rescue and accelerate the agenda 2030 for sustainable development in the region,” Fall remarked.

This development underscores the escalating nature of the crisis and the perceived limitations of domestic efforts to address it.


The North West has been grappling with insecurity for years, marked by violence from criminal gangs, armed bandits, and in some areas, extremist groups. These activities have resulted in widespread kidnappings, killings, population displacements, and disruptions to economic activity.

Seeking International Support:

Reaching out to an international body suggests a growing sense of urgency and potential frustration with the federal government’s response. The UN, with its experience in peacekeeping and conflict resolution, could provide a range of potential contributions – such as deploying observers, facilitating dialogue between different groups, or offering technical assistance in areas like security sector reform.

Domestic Efforts and Challenges:

The Nigerian government has implemented various security measures in the region, including military deployments and increased police presence. However, these efforts have yielded mixed results. Corruption within the security forces, logistical limitations, and the evolving nature of the security threats continue to pose significant challenges.

Uncertainties and Potential Implications:

The UN’s response to the governors’ request is yet to be determined. An active UN role in the North West could raise questions about the capacity of the Nigerian state to manage its own security challenges. Additionally, navigating the complex political dynamics within the region and potential objections from the federal government will be crucial factors in determining the feasibility and effectiveness of any UN intervention.

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