As calls for regional and ethnic autonomy get fiercer with agitations for dissolution of Nigeria’s Union, Arewa Consultative Forum has announced its intention to convene an all ethnic interface aimed at finding an enduring coexistence amongst Nigerians.
In a communique signed by chairman of the pan north group, Chief Audu Ogbe after a National Executive Council meeting of the forum in Kaduna, decried rising cases of insurgency , banditry and other forms of insecurity in the north and Nigeria at large.
While commending Governors Atiku Bagudu and Umara Zulum of Kebbi and Borno states for the unusual courage the forum noted they had demonstrated in the fight against terrorism, it challenged other northern governors to emulate their counterparts in the north east, saying menace of insecurity would be defeated if they showed similar vigour and commitments.
The forum commended gallantry of Nigerian troops for devoting time and risking their lives in efforts to rid the country of bandits and insurgents, urging governments at all levels to take welfare of armed forces and other security agencies with utmost priority.
While commending south east governors for disowning IPOB and ESN Secessionist agitators, the forum assured people of South East stock and others residing in the north of their safety, just as it urged political, religious and traditional leaders of the south to protect lives and property of northerners in the south.
It regretted high rate of interest charged on bank loans in the country, saying indigenous business enterprises had been grounded due to lack of supports and unfriendly environment needed for small and medium size enterprise to thrive, attributing the present insecurity to unemployment across the nation.
The forum commended the Federal government for the effort it said it was making to improve infrastructure in the country, but it however voiced concern that northern part covering 75 percent of Nigeria’s total landmass was not getting its fair share of FG’s developmental projects.
It called for a complete autonomy for local government, pointing out that the tier had not been allowed to perform the functions for which it was created.
It added its voice for the calls to reviving normadic education initiated by the Babangida’s regime, declaring it would go a long way in proffering solution to herders and farmers clashes by educating herders on need to live in harmony with their neighbours.
It lamented Nigeria’s dependence on imports, revealing the nation spent about 1.6bn naira on importation of milk alone annually, urging the FG to harness animal husbandry as panacea to reliance on foreign dairy products.