Governors seek quick intervention to tackle growing banditry in North East

THE governors of the North-East states have called for Federal Government support to help tackle the increased activities of bandits in the region.

The North East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) made the appeal in a communique issued at the just-concluded 8th meeting of the Forum in Maiduguri at the weekend.

Babagana Zulum of Borno State signed the statement.

The leaders called for the Federal Government’s prompt intervention and claimed that the bandits were individuals who had been chased out by the military in other parts of the nation and were heading towards the region, notably around the states like Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi.

“The forum calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to address the issue,” the communique stated.

The meeting claimed it was aware that some traditional rulers and other local authorities were conniving with the bandits, giving them cover to commit crimes.

“The forum unanimously resolved to decisively deal with any traditional ruler or community leader that is found to be harbouring or conniving with the bandits,” the group added.

Additionally, it raised concerns over the expansion of illicit mining in the area, which it said was becoming an issue “due to the connection between mining operations and instability, notably the exploitation of mining leases.”

It urged governments at all levels to ensure adherence to the local content requirements outlined in Nigeria’s Mining Policy and the need for strict adherence to the Land Use Act’s requirements.

The group also noted the region’s problems with climate change and environmental degradation, as well as last year’s flood, which destroyed homes and livelihoods and worsened people’s suffering.

The governors added that the region’s silting rivers and the deforestation brought on by the large charcoal industry worsened the climate change problem.

The governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, and Yobe were present at the conference, and the governors of Gombe and Taraba were represented by their deputy.

The country’s North-East region has suffered a lot of devastation due to the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and banditry.

    According to a report, over 40 per cent of teachers in the region have lost their lives due to the Boko Haram insurgency.

    The Managing Director of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC), Mohammed Alkali, said teachers in the zone were the primary target of terrorists.

    The Commission also disclosed that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East were unwilling to return to their ancestral homes.

    In a 2020 report, The ICIR detailed how over 600 people died in the region in six months from insurgent attacks.

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