North-East Security Architecture: Governors Calls For More Collaboration Among Member States

Although the region’s security situation is improving, the North-East Governors Forum has noted that member states still need to work together more to create the region’s security architecture.

After convening for its ninth meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, on Saturday, the forum announced this and decided to intensify its collaboration with the security services to develop a shared security strategy for the Northeast.

While praising President Bola Tinubu for his commitment to maintaining the country’s peace, the forum’s chairman, Governor Zulum, pointed out that the region’s formidable problems needed to be addressed via teamwork.

Fintiri said in his opening remarks that the forum has changed direction and drawn the necessary attention from the area since its founding.

After a closed-door session, the group released a communiqué that was given by Mai Mala Buni, the governor of Yobe State.

The governors of the North-East region of the country comprising Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Agbu Kefas (Taraba), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), met at the Adamawa Government House, Yola and were received by Governor Umaru Fintiri.

Excerpt is the full text of the communiqué

Communique Issued at the end of the 9th Meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) Held in Yola, Adamawa State. Saturday, 25th. November, 2023.

The North East Governors’ Forum (NEGF), comprising the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States, held its 9th meeting in Yola, Adamawa State. It expressed delight at the growing strength of cooperation and collaboration among member states in the region. The Forum reaffirmed its commitment to foster a common ground and pursue a collective course on matters of security, and social and economic integration of the region. At the end of the meeting, the Forum presented the following Communique:

1. Forum reiterates the need for subregional integration and resolved that each member state should take up the matter with more seriousness by assigning such responsibility to an appointee with cabinet status.

2. Forum notes that Climate Change and Environmental degradation are still major issues affecting the subregion. It thus, resolved to strengthen its collaboration with all initiatives such as the Great Green Wall and the Global Initiative of Carbon Credit financing.

3. Forum notes with appreciation, the readiness of the Bauchi State Government to host the North East Regional Trade Fair between 26th February – 3rd March 2024 and calls on all the subnational entities within the region to actively participate in the fair while inviting the nation, Africa and the world to come and experience the rich culture, tourism potentials, hospitality, and economic opportunities that abound in the region.

4. The forum appraised the compliance of the states with the decision earlier taken at the 8th meeting in Maiduguri to domesticate the Education Law 2022, as recommended by the Northeast Education Council. It thus called on states that are yet to domesticate the Law to do so as a matter of strategic regional integration.

5. Forum notes that although the security situation is improving positively in the region, there is a need for more collaboration among member states in the design of the security architecture for the region. It thus, resolved to work more with the security agencies to have a common security roadmap for the North East.

6. Forum notes the need for a robust platform for regional economic development. It thus, resolved to work as an entity in strengthening the human capacity and socio-economic development of its people.

7. The forum is continuously disturbed about the poor infrastructural base of the region. More concerned that the Federal roads within and between the states in the region have been neglected. It thus, calls on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region. The poor road network is fuelling insecurity stalling development and making life more difficult for our people in the region.

8. Forum notes that the contractual encumbrances on some of the bad federal roads within and between the States are major setbacks to the infrastructural development of the region. It calls on the NEDC to work with State Governments and the Federal Ministry of Works to remove the encumbrances and find more practical ways to intervene on these roads.

9. Forum notes the poor energy situation in the region. To mitigate the situation, Forum resolved to work with Shanghai Electric to construct a 60 MW Coal Power Plant or 50 MW Solar Power Plant in each State of the region.

10. Forum notes with dismay the poor rail system in the region. It equally notes that the repairs on the old gauge rail lines are not useful and sustainable technology. The forum calls for the inclusion of the region into the Nigerian National Railway Transport Plan using the Modern Guage rail and the National Road plan that the region is conspicuously missing.

11. The Forum resolved to hold the 10th Meeting in Bauchi between 23rd February – 26th March 2024.

Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, CON, mni, FNSE
Chairman NEGF and Governor,
Borno State