Crises in the West / West: Northern governors and elders met in Abuja

Why we meet, Governor Lalong explains

* Give up acts that could provoke the North, warn the elders of the South

By Joseph Erunke

NORTHERN governors and elders in the region met Monday night to devise ways to address the escalating ethnic tensions growing across the country following the southwest crisis, particularly the Shasha crisis in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The northern governors were led by their chairman and governor of the State of Plato, Barr. Simon Lalong, while the elders under the auspices of the Northern Forum of the Elderly were led by the president of the forum prof. Abdullahi Ango.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, which lasted about four hours, Governor Simon Lalong explained that the meeting was a case of ethnic crises in the southern part of the country, especially in the southwest, caused by pretty announcements and the Shasha crisis in Oyo State. .

According to him, the meeting was aimed at exploring the roads with the aim of calming the worn nerves, which would escalate the tension that could arise from the development of events.

Explaining the essence of the meeting with the northern elders, Lalong said: “This is a delegation of northern elders led by prof. Ango Abdullahi. It is part of our engagements because here and there we have these notifications of abandonment and then problems in the country. “

He continued: “As northern governors, we need to hire some of our leaders and find ways to calm our nerves.

“We just returned from Kaduna today after a northwestern meeting with security organizations. We just had a fruitful discussion with the northern elders this evening and part of the meeting was to find ways to calm the nerves and also to ensure that our northern brothers take action.

“We don’t want to talk about asking people to leave, but when you have problems like this, you look at the way forward, a very mature way forward and that was what we talked about, and then we have to deal with some problems, a problem that is expected on the side of the government, both federal and state governments in the north. “

According to him, “The bottom line is to find a way forward to make progress at the northern end, also in Nigeria.”

“As I speak to you now, after our meeting in Kaduna, our governors sent a delegation to go to Oyo, and they are currently in Ibadan to assess the situation there and see the truth about what is really going on with the northerners in the Southwest and then return the report, ”he said.

He said the meeting would continue because he had not closed his agenda.

Listen to him: “We are passing on the meeting, we are not done. This is part of our consideration, what we have here will be sent back to the northern governors, and what we have here is a representative of the northern governors.

“So we will return to the report in a full hall, that is, the northern governors, for a full deliberation. As you can see, tensions are everywhere. So we try to calm our nerves and also find progress where there are complaints, here and there we can alleviate fears and also help resolve some of those complaints. “

Also speaking, the secretary for promotion of the Northern Elders Forum, Alhaji Hakeem Baba Ahmed, explained that the forum met with northern governors to identify areas that the two bodies could gather to find solutions to growing tensions stemming from ethnic crises in the south.

He said: “We are here to meet with the Forum of Governors of the North because they are our first call point, they are our governors as northerners. Wherever we go on any issue we have to meet with them.

“We have come to make a complaint as northerners, we have come to show their support in some of the initiatives they have taken, we have come to seek their beliefs because vigilant and to make sure they are on their toes to protect our northerners and invite them to cooperate with their colleagues to de-escalate the tension and protect every Nigerian, and we are very happy for what they said. “

Ahmed added: “We urge northerners not to take the law into their own hands, they should be restrained, mature and responsible.”

However, he warned: “We are asking Nigerians from the southern part of the country to give up acts that could provoke other Nigerians.

“We believe that every Nigerian is obliged to be responsible and recognize the fact that this is one country.

“We have people everywhere, the last thing we want in the north is to see any attack on anyone outside the region, and we want northerners in other parts of the country to be treated equally.”