Retired military chiefs, former governors, ex-ministers, among other North-Central leaders met in Abuja over the insecurity in Nigeria.
Among those in attendance were former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu; ex-Governors of Nasarawa and Kwara States, Umaru Al-Makura and Abdulfatah Ahmed; Gabriel Aduku, ex-Minister of State for Health.
The prominent citizens demanded that challenges affecting the region be addressed for the return of peace and safety.
The meeting was convened ahead of the July summit on security being organised by the North Central Peoples’ Forum (NCPF).
NCPF Board of Trustees Chairman, Jeremiah Useni (rtd) presided. The retired Lieutenant General was the Minister in-charge of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Sani Abacha regime.
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In his remarks, Al Makura, currently the Nasarawa South Senator, decried the security situation in the North-Central.
“Our zone has always been known as the home of tourism, harmony, and solid minerals; the confluence of the two major rivers in the country, the food basket of the nation.
“Unfortunately, various acts of lawlessness have affected peace. We cannot sit back and watch these developments without taking action”, he stressed.
Ahmed noted that even Kwara, which is generally regarded as relatively safe, was witnessing incidents of banditry.
“Once forewarned, a wise cripple will not be caught up in the thick of battle”, he said.
Mantu, in his contribution, explained that the NCPF is totally apolitical and only interested in the wellbeing of the people.
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Useni also clarified that former military chiefs at the meeting are non-partisan and are in the Forum to use their experiences to offer advice.
“Maj. Gen. Wahab Garuba from Kwara, Rear Admiral Christopher Ehamo from Benue are retired Generals who have no party affiliation.
“They are here to add value to what we are doing”, Useni added.
NCPF Secretary General, Khaleel Bolaji, Prof Joseph Golwa, Dr. Fatima Kabir-Gaya, Galadima Tatari Gbako also attended.