2019:North­ern el­ders set up new fo­rum, c’ttees to ad­dress re­gional is­sues

Sunday Trust - - NEWS - By John Chuks Azu

North­ern el­ders yes­ter­day es­tab­lished a new stand­ing re­gional fo­rum known as the North­ern Po­lit­i­cal Lead­ers Fo­rum (NPLF) to ad­dress var­i­ous is­sues chal­leng­ing the re­gion.

The new fo­rum, which re­places the North­ern El­ders and Stake­hold­ers Con­ver­sa­tion, was part of the out­come of the lead­ers’ meet­ing yes­ter­day in Abuja.

The lead­ers also formed five sub­com­mit­tees to work with the fo­rum, which has Dr Umar Ardo as Sec­re­tary and re­tired Com­modore Isaac Manki­lik as Deputy Sec­re­tary.

The com­mit­tees are: Se­cu­rity Sub­Com­mit­tee, Po­lit­i­cal Sub-Com­mit­tee, North­ern Unity Sub-Com­mit­tee, 2019 Elec­tion Sub-Com­mit­tee, and Re­struc­tur­ing of Nige­ria Sub-Com­mit­tee.

In the com­mu­niqué signed by for­mer Deputy Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Ibrahim Mantu, the meet­ing also en­dorsed the hold­ing of a North­ern Po­lit­i­cal Sub­mit on 15th March, 2018 to mark the 1959 at­tain­ment of self­gov­ern­ment of the North­ern Re­gion.

The re­ports of the com­mit­tees will be de­liv­ered and de­lib­er­ated at the said North­ern po­lit­i­cal sum­mit.

Ear­lier, elder states­man Tanko Yakas­sai and for­mer Act­ing Chair­man of the Peo­ples’ Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Bello Haliru Mo­hammed called for unity to ad­dress the lead­er­ship and se­cu­rity chal­lenges fac­ing the re­gion.

In his open­ing re­marks, Mo­hammed said for the north to at­tain the de­sired unity, de­lib­er­ate mea­sures should be taken to­wards forg­ing a strong bond on sol­i­dar­ity among the po­lit­i­cal class.

He said it had be­come crit­i­cal to es­tab­lish a wide and en­dur­ing po­lit­i­cal net­work and chan­nel of com­mu­ni­ca­tion for con­sul­ta­tions and di­a­logue among the ap­pa­ra­tus and lead­er­ship of all the var­i­ous north­ern po­lit­i­cal elite.

“This will re­duce ac­ri­mony and con­flict; and con­versely create trust among the north­ern po­lit­i­cal elite and fa­cil­i­tate the at­tain­ment of the set goals-cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal unity of the north.

“It is our unity in the north that can fa­cil­i­tate and give le­git­i­macy to our al­liance with the south to pro­vide the re­quired lead­er­ship to move this coun­try for­ward.

“From what is ap­par­ent in the po­lit­i­cal arena to­day, it is clear that the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tors have agreed that in the forth­com­ing 2019 elec­tion, it is the turn of the north to pro­duce the pres­i­dent.

“There­fore, there is a need to part­ner with broth­ers and sis­ters from other re­gions to en­sure that, this time around, the lead­er­ship that shall emerge is one that can unite and de­velop our coun­try with eq­uity, jus­tice and peace for all; this is the main ob­jec­tive of this meet­ing,’’ he said.

In his re­mark, elder states­man and Chair­man of the meet­ing, Tanko Yaka­sai, said it had be­come ur­gent for elite of the north to stand up in unity and save Nige­ria from in­sta­bil­ity.

He said that the con­ver­sa­tion, though po­lit­i­cal, was non-par­ti­san and not a pre­lude to the for­ma­tion of a po­lit­i­cal party.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the con­ver­sa­tion rep­re­sents all shades of po­lit­i­cal opin­ions, eth­nic and re­li­gious di­ver­si­ties of the north.

The meet­ing was at­tended by for­mer Deputy Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Ibrahim Mantu; for­mer speaker of House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Ghali Umar N’Abba; At­tahiru Ba­farawa; for­mer gover­nor of Sokoto State; for­mer gover­nor of Kogi State, Idris Wada; for­mer Vice Chan­cel­lor of Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity, Zaria, Ango Ab­dul­lahi; Prof Auwal Yadudu; for­mer min­is­ter, Mukhtar Shehu Sha­gari; for­mer min­is­ter, Solomon Ewuga; and Zan­nan Mubi, Paul Wam­pama.

Oth­ers in at­ten­dance in­clude: for­mer FCT Min­is­ter, Jeremiah Useni; for­mer gover­nor of Adamawa, Boni Haruna; Se­na­tor Ibrahim Ida; for­mer gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date in Adamawa State, Umar Ardo, among oth­ers.

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