The Northern States Governors Forum held an emergency virtual meeting on Monday 8th February 2021 to discuss issues affecting the region and the nation in general. The meeting was presided over by its Chairman and Governor of Plateau State Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong. The meeting resolved as follows:
1. That some of its Committee reports are at various stages of completion and resolved that all such reports should be turned in before the next meeting scheduled for the end of February in Kaduna where the reports will be deliberated upon.
2. On the security of the region and the nation, the Forum noted with concern the growing wave of insecurity in the country particularly as it relates to the circulation of unverified video clips on social media portraying violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country. Therefore, Forum:
i. Called on political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals as criminals. The Forum reiterates that it condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.
ii. Noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
iii. Expressed concern that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which the Northern Governors are working assiduously to contain.
iv. Stresses the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet and discuss the issue wholistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.
v. Notes with concern that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable in view of the growing urbanization and population of the country. Consequently, Forum resolved to aggressively sensitize herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.
vi. Appeals to the Federal Government to support States with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.
vii. Resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the north. Accordingly, a four-man committee was put in place to be headed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.
viii. Called for restraint from leaders including those in the Southern parts of the country where passions are high. Similarly, they called on all the citizens of the north to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.
3. Forum congratulated the new Service Chiefs over their recent appointments and resolved to collaborate with them in enhancing the security of the region and the nation at large.
4. On its quest to acquire COVID-19 testing mobile vehicles, the Governors received briefing on the procurement of the vehicles which was still ongoing with the first batch about to be received. Accordingly, the Forum resolved to revalidate all requests made by member States in 2020.