Former governors of Kwara
State, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed, Sha’aba Lafiagi and Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye, have been instituted as the patrons of North Central People’s Forum (NCPF).
The forum also inaugurated a former Kwara State senator, Chief Simon Ajibola as its patron.
At the investiture ceremony held in Abuja yesterday, the forum reiterated its core objective to bring development and peace in the region while still operating under the umbrella of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
Speaking on behalf of the appointees, Ahmed commended the north- central leaders for coming up with an initiative that will bring peace and development in the region, describing it as the best thing that has ever happened to people in the region.
He said, “We must come up with new ways by which we can relate and put thoughts together as a people to take advantage of our numbers and our diversities and translate this into growth and developmental programmes for our people.
“The NCPF is one of the best things that has ever happened to us.
Firstly, we know that we are part of the bigger Arewa Consultative Forum but at the same time we want to take advantage of our synergies and what has that bring us to? It brings us to recognise the fact that yes, at the federal level, there are programmes that are being taken to different regions like NDDC, northeast development commission but these are only going to be tools.
“How do we translate this into economic benefit for our people? 65 per cent of our population are youths what opportunities does this come with?
He further said the forum it was a picture that the time has come for north central to look at how best it can create a room, opportunities and take advantage of God- given potentials and make the north-central zone a better place, pledging that they will give everything to make the forum one of the best that will not only serve as a mirror to others but also create the basis for peace and growth in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, a former deputy senate president and patron of the forum, Ibrahim Mantu said the forum would work to ensure that there is absolute peace in the north-central as already existed in Kwara, one of the states in the region.
Speaking with journalists immediately after the meeting, Mantu also stressed the need for the federal government to dialogue with the #EndSARS protesters in the country in order to have peace.
He said, “What I want to suggest strongly is that all parties should come to a round table to discuss because even when people go to war it is resolved in a round table discussion so I think that the protesters have made their point and I think it is time for the government to take the way forward.
“What they are doing is right everybody is supporting them but we must sit down and talk because we should not allow what happened in the Arab countries to happen here because none of the Arab countries is better off after that so we must learn our lesson from what has happened there, are they better? No, they are worst than what has happened before,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the chairman Board of Trustees (BoT), NCPF, General Jeremiah Useni stressed that the forum would continue to abide by its objective of uniting the region with the hope of getting a development commission subsequently