The Northern Governors Forum and elders yesterday met in Abuja as part of a concerted effort to address the quit notice issued to Fulani herders in the South-West.
Speaking with newsmen after their meeting in Abuja, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau, Barrister Simon Lalong, said the meeting was necessary to douse tension and allay fears.
Lalong said the meeting was to seek diplomatic measures of resolving the issues and chart ways of facilitating the progress of the region.
The chairman said the delegation of northern elders led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi was part of their engagement to address problems of quit notices and other problems in the country.
“Today we just came from Kaduna after the North-West meeting with security organisations and we also had a very fruitful meeting and discussion with the northern elders this evening.
“Part of the meeting is to find ways of calming nerves and also to assure our northern brothers that measures are being taken, ” he said.
He said instead of asking people to go away, it was imperative to seek ways of moving forward and addressing the issues in a mature manner.
Lalong said the forum was seeking ways of addressing challenges in the north through engaging state and federal governments to facilitate progress in the country.
“We sent a delegation of governors to go to Oyo State, they are right now in Ibadan to assess the situation and see the truth of what is happening with the northerners in the South-West and bring back a report,” he said.
He said the report would form the basis of taking decisions that would douse the tensions and grievances.
While addressing the journalists, the Secretary of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the meeting was to present the complaints of the northerners to the governors for appropriate action.
He said the meeting with the governors was also to seek their support in some of the initiatives of the elders and to get an update from the governors on their efforts in defending the interest of the north.
Baba-Ahmed said the elders were happy with the outcome of the meeting, saying it was productive and constructive.
He urged the governors to collaborate with their colleagues from other parts of the country in ensuring peace in the country.
He appealed to northerners not to take laws in their hands but act in a responsible and mature manner.
He said Nigeria belonged to all of us.