The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), on Tuesday, said the forum has decided to set-up a special high powered committee to pro-actively intervene in the peace and socio-economic unity of the North, especially in Benue, Kogi, Zamfara, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna states.
In a statement by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, convener of the Northern Elders Forum, explained that the forum appreciates the requests from a number of socio-cultural groups from many parts of the country to discuss matters that agitate the minds of millions of citizens on the nation’s current challenges as well as its future.
The statement said further that the forum welcomes the opportunity to engage all groups on all issues that are important to the North and Nigeria.
According to the forum: “It accepts to engage, without pre-conditions, any group that approaches it examine the foundations of our union and the nature and solutions to our political, economic and security challenges.
“The meeting took stock of the killings in many parts of the North. While noting the efforts of political leaders, security agents and the federal administration to stop the alarming levels of killings in North East, Zamfara, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau and many other parts of the North, the Forum demands more decisive efforts to bring these killings to an end.
“The Forum condoles all communities and families who have lost members in the spate of senseless killings in the North. In addition, the Forum encourages both the Federal and state governments to provide immediate palliative succor for those disposed. The Forum prays that God will console residents of the affected communities and plans undertake a tour for condolence.
“The Forum restates it commitment to improve all relations with other groups in the North to enhance Northern unity. It accepted the report from its secretariat for the expansion of its presence and impact in all parts of the North.
“The Forum invites attention of all leaders to the fact that the security of citizens and the promotion of their welfare are the only purpose of government. Citizens’ faith in the nation and its leadership is directly related to a demonstration of its willingness and success in protecting their lives and creating a conducive environment for the pursuit of their welfare”
The Forum is also concerned that rising tensions around political and electoral competition towards 2019 general elections will represent additional threats to national security and the conduct of free and fair elections under a safe and secure atmosphere.
“The pronounced presence of physical violence in campaigns and other political activities, as well as reckless and irresponsible utterances by some political office holders/religious and community leaders should be condemned and eliminated by those with the responsibility to do so,” the statement said.