Northern Leaders Slam Jonathan’s Govt, Vow to Create United 2015 Platform



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After a two –day conference in Kaduna , northern leaders  on Thursday slammed  the President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government for failing to protect Nigerians  and the Northerners in particular.“The weakening nature and perhaps the failure of the Nigerian state to protect lives and property as well as its inability to provide basic social services and guarantee freedom and rights of citizens cumulatively accounts for the current state of siege in which the north now find itself,”the  group said in it communiqué which was read on Thursday night by Dr. Usman Bugaje.In the communiqué also the confrenec resolved “That the Northern Region will create a strong and united platform to address the current security situation and the politics of the North with particular reference to 2015 elections.”

The communiqué said that participants at the conference were drawn from what the organizers described as concerned northerners comprising of former Heads of State, Vice President, governors, former Chief Justice of the Federation, Speaker, House of Representatives, retired senior members of the Armed Forces, the academia as well as women and youth groups, among others.

The conference was organized by the Arewa Research and Development Program (ARDP) under the auspices of Arewa House Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, Ahmadu Bello University.

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, chaired the ceremony but was represented by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed while Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna state declared the workshop open.

In the communiqué, participants quoted social indicators and statistics for human development perspectives which show dismal crises in education, health, water and sanitation services, thereby placing the north far below other sections of the country.

The communiqué expressed a resolve by participants for the northern region to create a strong and united platform, to address the current security situation and the politics of the north with particular reference to 2015 elections.

The communiqué read in part, “the objectives of the conference are, to bring all the disparate groups working in different directions but all with the aim of promoting northern interests within a greater Nigeria under one platform.

“To complement and harmonize all efforts being made by long existing groups, northern elders and the Northern Governors Forum with a view to creating a formidable, all inclusive pan-northern platform to tackle the problems of the north in particular and Nigeria in general

“To build the requisite confidence and assurance amongst the diverse peoples of the north, that the present challenges can be surmounted but only if all the people do come together.

“To assure the north and its friends that this initiative will draw lessons and experiences from past and ongoing efforts by other groups and individuals to solve the problems of the region through sustained, strategic engagement and development of implementable policy options in partnership with the National Assembly, ACF Northern Governors Forum and indeed all other groups with similar mission.

“The conference notes and expresses concern that :”the systematic erosion of cherished values of honesty, tolerance and integrity that were once the hallmark of public service in the north have resulted in bad governance, disregard for the rule of law and general decadence.

“The effect of the current insurgency of Ahlas Sunna li dawa’ati wal Jihad  and other forms of insecurity have impacted negatively on the socio-economic, political and the religious life of the people .

“Economic growth and development, commerce and trade in both formal and informal sectors of the northern states are being stifled with multiplier effects on the larger national and African sub-regional economies.

“The general conduct of the JTF and how the fundamental rights of the citizens of the north are being violated in clear breach of the rules of engagement. It is expected that the JTF to strictly abide by the  professional terms of engagement in the interest of peace.

“The conference therefore resolves as follows, that with over 72 per cent of the national landmass and favorable climatic condition for both rain-fed and irrigation farming, millions of livestock and other sundry agricultural endowments, the north has to modernize its agriculture with all the priority attention required to return the region to its erstwhile leading position as the food basket of the nation.

“That human capital development being the key to enhanced living standard must be given special attention to address the northern peculiarities in the  primary,  secondary and vocational education as well well as the provision of required trained manpower for primary health care to give special priority to the  eradication of all preventable diseases in the region and that leadership at all levels must be open, transparent and accountable.

“That the Federal Government in liaison with state governors, the affected communities, religious leaders should get together to genuinely dialogue with the insurgents with the view to ending the the insecurity in the north.

“That there is the urgent need to explore and exploit the abundant mineral resources existing all over north in order to generate more revenue in support of the developmental needs of the region.

“That there is need to harness all sources of energy in the north to meet the domestic and industrial requirements of the region.

“That this current initiative be sustained through the development of a common vision which would be consciously agreed upon by all groups with clear implementation strategies and timelines for the actualization of this common vision.”

Read the communique below:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO DAY CONFERENCE ON THE NORTH AND STRTEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT HELD ON THE 5TH AND 6TH OF DECEMBER,2012 AT AREWA HOUSE, KADUNA

 

The Arewa Research and Development Program (ARDP) under the auspices of Arewa House –  Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, organized a two-day conference on the North and Strategies for Sustainable Development on the 5h and 6th December 2012.

The conference drew participants from a broad spectrum of concerned northerners comprising of former Heads of State, Vice President, Governors, onetime Chief Justice of the Federation, Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, academics of the top range in their respective fields, erstwhile ministers, Federal and State Permanent Secretaries, Retired Generals and Police Chiefs, Serving heads of federal and state agencies, businessmen, women and youth groups.

The conference was declared open by Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, CFR, while the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Alhaji Aliko Mohammed stood in for General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR as the Chairman of the occasion. The vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was the host.

The objectives of the conference are

To bring all the disparate groups working in different directions but all with the aim of promoting northern interests within a greater Nigeria under one platform.

To complement and harmonize all efforts being made by long existing groups, northern elders and the Northern Governors Forum with a view to creating a formidable, all inclusive Pan- Northern platform to tackle the problems of the north in particular and Nigeria in general

To build the requisite confidence and assurance amongst the diverse peoples of the north,that the present challenges can be surmounted but only if all the people do come together.

To assure the North and its friends that this initiative will draw lessons and experiences from past and ongoing efforts by other groups and individuals to solve the problems of the region through sustained, strategic engagement and development of implementable policy options in partnership with the National Assembly, ACF Northern Governors Forum and indeed all other groups with similar mission.

The conference notes and expresses concern that :

The weakening nature and perhaps the failure of the Nigerian State to protect lives and property as well as its inability to provide basic social services and guarantee freedom and rights of citizens cumulatively accounts for the current state of siege in which the North now find itself.

The systematic erosion of cherished values of honesty, tolerance and integrity that were once the hallmark of public service in the North have resulted in bad governance, disregard for the rule of law and general decadence.

Social indicators and statistics for all human development perspectives show the dismal crises in education, health, water and sanitation services thereby placing the region far below its counterparts in the country

The effect of the current insurgency of Ahlas Sunna li dawa’ati wal Jihad  and other forms of insecurity have impacted negatively on the socio-economic, political and the religious life of the people . Economic growth and development, commerce and trade in both  formal and informal sectors of the northern  states are being stifled with  multiplier on the larger national and African sub-regional economies

The general conduct of the JTF and how the fundamental rights of the citizens of the north are being violated in clear breach of the rules of engagement. It is expected that the JTF to strictly abide by the  professional terms of engagement in the interest of peace.

The Conference therefore resolves as follows:

That with over 72% of the national landmass and favorable climatic condition for both rain-fed and irrigation farming, millions of livestock and other sundry agricultural endowments, the north has to modernize its agriculture with all the priority attention required to return the region to its erstwhile leading position as the food basket of the nation.

That human capital development being the key to enhanced living standard must be given special attention to address the northern peculiarities in the  primary,  secondary and vocational education as well well as the provision of required trained manpower for primary health care to give special priority to the  eradication of all preventable diseases in the region

That leadership at all levels must be open, transparent and accountable.

That the federal government in liaison with state governors, the affected communities, religious leaders should get together to genuinely dialogue with the insurgents with the view to ending the the insecurity in the north.

That there is the urgent need to explore and exploit the abundant mineral resources existing all over north in order to generate more revenue in support of the developmental needs of the region.

That there is need to harness all sources of energy in the north to meet the domestic and industrial requirements of the region.

That this current initiative be sustained through the development of a common vision which would be consciously agreed upon by all groups with clear implementation strategies  and timelines for the actualization of this common vision.

That the Northern Region will create a strong and united platform to address the current security situation and the politics of the North with particular reference to 2015 elections.

 

 

 



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