In order to address the difficulties confronting northern Nigeria, particularly insecurity, some of the region’s most prominent sons and daughters have created Abuja Roundtable, an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) to address the region’s ever-changing challenges.
The stakeholders intimated that the Abuja Roundtable will be actively involved in resolving the security problem in Northern Nigeria, pledging to launch new and support existing private citizen initiatives to supplement the efforts of the three levels of government.
The former Presidential candidate of the defunct NRC, Alh. Bashir Tofa, stated on Tuesday at the initiative’s inaugural event in Abuja that the state of insecurity in Nigeria is concerning, while adding that the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria has reached existential proportions, threatening to turn the region hostile to civilized existence.
Tofa, who spoke on behalf of the Initiative, further hinted that, to bring the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria under control, more and better collaboration among the states across the region and between the states and federal authorities is required.
He equally said that there is also need for more and better coordination among the military and security agencies and between them and the civilian population.
The elder statesman however, stressed that no effort should be spared to bring an end to the wanton death and destruction that have been unleashed on the region.
According to him , “We acknowledge the efforts of the relevant authorities at both the state and federal levels to deal with the difficult, complex and evolving security situation but it is becoming clear on a daily basis that a lot more of these efforts is required.
“The pain, agony and unwarranted suffering of ordinary people across the region has become completely unbearable as agriculture, education, commerce and the normal rhythm of life have been severely disrupted.
” However, the ultimate remedy to the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria is a collective resolve by all Northern communities to live in peace with each other, in equity and justice, and quality investment by the three tiers of government, as well as the private sector, in human capital, agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure, particularly power, transport and telecommunication.
“These investments are necessary for job creation to catch up with our rapid growth in population. So, we will do whatever is necessary and possible to cooperate with the relevant authorities to restore security to the region.”
He continued ,”reasons that we founded Abuja Roundtable and set for ourselves the following objectives: To foster genuine unity among the people of Northern Nigeria
“To use unity as the platform to collectively address the challenges of insecurity and underdevelopment in the region; to move from unity within Northern Nigeria to unity among Nigerians.”
“The they are fully aware attaining the objectives will not be easy as the conditions and forces of division have taken root and have been left to fester unchecked over a long period.
“Abuja Roundtable envisions a united Northern Nigeria in which peace, prosperity and development become the norm rather than the exception, in which the people are defined by the core values of love, honesty, hard work, contentment, sacrifice, humility and good neighborliness.
“We are also hopeful that, as collective victims who have paid the price of division, our people have arrived at the realization that unity is required to resolve other challenges afflicting the region.
“Recent consultations with eminent political, traditional and religious leaders across the North are encouraging. They reveal a strong desire to remove all obstacles to Northern unity and a commitment to overcome its challenges.
“We will widen and deepen these consultations in the coming weeks, months and, if necessary, years in order to attain our objectives.
“The most urgent task, therefore, facing the peoples of Northern Nigeria is to overcome fear and suspicion, jettison unhealthy division and create consensus around common goals and aspirations”, he emphasized.
In attendance were: Former Secretary government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, Former Governor of Kaduna state, Ramalan Yaro, former Governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatai Ahmed, former Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, former Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, former FCT Minister, Aliyu Madibo, former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, Chief of Defense Staff, General Martin Agwa, Senator Abdul Ningi, Hajiya Naja’atu Tijani, Member Police service Commission, former Minister of State Aviation, Dr Idi Hong to mention but a few.