National Conference: Northern Leaders

The Northern leaders convened to discuss certain issues affecting their states. In the summit they demanded that the National Conference should be retaken due to the old government Goodluck Jonathan might have skipped certain issues affecting the North. Most especially the issue of the Boko Haram menace in the north, which has brought about developmental issues in the North.

According to the Punch newspaper this issue was discussed,

“Northern leaders, mainly former political office holders from the zone, on the 15th of August canvassed against the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference convened by the Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Northerners said the Jonathan’s government had it’s agenda fro setting the confab and that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari could not work with the outcome of the 2014 Conference. The Northern Ex-Political office holders under the aegis of the Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF), asked Buhari to convene a Fresh National Conference, specially to address some pertinent issues affecting the North-East and other parts of the region.

Their demand was contain in the communique issued at the end of the forum’s summit and retreat with the theme ” Rebuilding a safe, secure and economically inclusive Northern Nigeria.” Chairman of the NRF, who is also a former member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Mohammed Umara Kumalia, read the Communique in Abuja.’

The NRF was declared open by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and in attendance was the Governor of Bauchi state, Mohammed Abubakar, the Governors of Kebbi, Borno and Benue state, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and Samuel Ortom respectively.

Although some of the governors participated in the 2014 confab, the group still insisted that the nature of the new confab they are advocating for was to rebuild and develop the North-East region which as we all know has been destroy by the terrorist group Boko Haram through their activities. Alhaji Mohammed Umara Kumalia said that the highest number of people below $2.00 are of the northern region backing up his statement with the report of the World Bank of 2013 that says 16 states out of the 19 northern states are suffering from poverty which has doubled itself since 1980.

The NRF members are calling on the Federal Government to convene another National Conference for the development of the North-East to put together a short, medium and long term vision for the development of the zone. The issue here now is, it is not expected of the All Progressive Congress to pick up from where the People’s Democratic party left off from. It has been requested of the All Progressive Congress to convene their own National Conference as in line with their own objectives and goals for the Nigerian society.

The group also commended the Dangote and T.Y Danjuma Foundations and encouraged that other individuals to participate in philanthropic activities in the Northern Nigeria. The Forum said it would encourage Northern states to deliver health care support and services by engaging existing structures and programmes such as indigenous Non-governmental Organizations, the National Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross and International Organizations for migration.

The Summit was also attended by representatives of the Northern Governors Forum, Civil Society groups, Corporate Organizations, NGO and key development Partners, such as DFID, World Bank, African Development Bank and the UN. Also, are representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, NEMA, National Population Commission, National Planning Commission among others, were present at the summit.

This summit would help in the development of the Northern part of Nigeria if these issues are addressed and tackled.