Farmers/Herdsmen Clashes Will Consume Nigeria, Northern Govs Warn
The chairman of Northern Governor’s Forum and governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, who stated the governor’s position, also hinted that the region’s governors along traditional rulers will adopt a consensus position on restructuring at a crucial meeting in Kaduna.
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Speaking during the forum’s meeting with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Emirs and chiefs in Kaduna, Shettima warned ambitious politicians to always weigh the consequences of their words and actions and avoid playing to the gallery.
He said: "Although the struggle over grazing land is a recurring phenomenon in many African countries south of the Sahara, the case in Nigeria has come to assume a dangerous and worrisome dimension in terms of both its massive scale and widespread scope, and the ethno-religious colouration it has been so cynically given.
“I dare to say that unless we are ready to cast aside all sentiment-laden approaches to tackling this monstrous problem, it is capable of consuming the very social fabric of the North and even condemning the entire country to unwarranted destruction.
“It requires no knowledge of rocket science to discern that the future prosperity of the North in particular and Nigeria in general squarely rests on agriculture and the human resources and talent we can bring to bear on it”.
Governor Shettima on his part had this to say:
“I now return to the currently trending matter of restructuring. It is common knowledge that following the recent upsurge in the clamor for restructuring and even secession, the Acting President held a series of meetings with all stakeholders from all sections of the country.
“It is also my expectation that at the end of this meeting today and, God willing, tomorrow’s meeting of the Governors, the Forum and our esteemed royal fathers will adopt a consensus position on restructuring of the country that will be reflective of the general overall interest of the people of Northern Nigeria and which will attract popular acceptance.
“It is of vital importance to arrive at such consensus position because it is crucial to dispel the erroneous impression created and disseminated by certain interests in this country that the North is opposed to restructuring.
“Secondly, it is important to do so not only to accommodate the mainstream of Northern public opinion, our primary constituency, but to also counter the specific versions of restructuring which generally seek to place the North in a position of strategic political and economic disadvantage, but portrayed as the only versions that can work for the nation.
“To do this, we need statesmen to chaperone the art of governance, not politicians; for we need to look at the coming generations not the coming elections. We need to look far into the future with the utmost sense of responsibility and not cash in on some immediate opportunities. We need to constantly weigh the consequences of our words and actions and avoid playing to the gallery”.
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