Femi Adi/ Kaduna
The governors who admitted the north already has its cup full with the serious problems of Boko Haram to contend with, said they wanted to look into how to ensure that last week’s deadly clash in Zaria between the Shiite sect and the army does not provide room for anyone or group to perpetuate violence in any of the 19 northern States.
In his opening remark during an emergency meeting held at General Usman Hassan Katsina State House today, Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum and Borno Governor , Alhaji Kashim Shettima said though the forum was not in any way comparing the Shi’ite Islamic Movement with Boko Haram, it does not want the same mistake that happened over the Boko Haram crisis to repeat itself.
Beside, Shettima said Kaduna is very central to northern Nigerian interest.
” Kaduna is to us, what Lagos is to the South West. What affects Kaduna State invariably affects the whole north.”
Kaduna as the former headquarters of the northern Nigeria , must be accorded the relevance it deserves. “We have a duty to preserve history and our values by coming here. ”
According to Shettima ,when Boko Haram went wild in July, 2009 with clashes between them and the police in Bauchi on 25th and 26th in Maiduguri, most Nigerians saw the issues as the problems of Bauchi and Borno.
He further said that when the sect continued to attack Borno and Yobe, it became the affairs of Borno and Yobe States, but all of a sudden, there was suicide attack in Abuja in 2012 and then everything went out of control and we are where are today.
” We do not make any comparison between the murderously violent Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic Movement but we are here to analyze and ensure that we take measures that will close any avenue which some people may want to seize to create violence in the immediate or long run,”Shettima added.
The Borno state governor said that during their meeting, they expected briefings on the Zaria incident and other matters that affect the well being of the north.
He made it very clear, the Northern Governors ’ Forum is not in Kaduna to do the job of the Kaduna State Government or because there is anything missing in the measures taken by the Kaduna State Government.
“We are very confident in the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai. His competence and character have never come under any doubt. Soon after the Zaria crisis, the Governor was at the scene and he spoke with leader of the Islamic Movement and met the Chief of Army Staff,” he noted.
He noted that El-Rufai addressed the people of Kaduna State on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and that the Government took some firm, far reaching measures it considers necessary is an indication that he is on ground and knows the subject matter more than us and he knows the steps he deems most suitable after his extensive consultations. So, we are not here to do his job.”