•‘We can still influence events in Nigeria’
From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The North, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is set to unveil a blueprint on security, politics and socio-economic development of the region.
The blueprint will be unveiled at a two-day summit in Kaduna, starting today.
Chairman of the Organising Committee, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, told newsmen at the weekend that the summit would also articulate the region’s stand on calls for the restructuring of the country.
Abdullahi said the North can no longer keep silent on the state of the nation.
He also said the summit, which will hold at Arewa House, in Kaduna, will generate discussions on the general state of the nation.
Issues bordering on the security situation with regards to Boko Haram, militancy, banditry, robbery, herdsmen/farmers clash and kidnapping would also be assessed, he added.
“As elders of the region, during the last dispensation we were not silent on some issues bedevilling the region as well as the country. We made our voices heard, especially during the campaign period. Now, we also feel it is time we talk for the progress of the region and the entire country.
“If the North is shivering, by extension, other regions will catch cold. Quote me, because, we still believe we can influence events in the North and, to an extent, the country.
“Several issues bordering on security, socio-economic and political issues affecting the country make it imperative for Northerners, from across the board to come together, examine the situation, re-assess the northern position and chart a framework for action that will certainly be a key reference point in future national discourse.
“The summit shall aim at becoming instrumental in mobilising governments, stakeholders and, indeed, sensitising the Nigerian citizen on the state of the nation. The outcome of the summit shall provide a viable constructive platform at presenting a common and unified position of the North in any national dialogue.
“The summit shall also seek ways and means to encourage federal, states and local governments by way of providing them with various types of blueprint in respect of nagging questions of national development”.
Dignitaries expected to grace the summit include the convener of NEF, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, governors of Kaduna, Plateau, Sokoto, Borno and Gombe states.
Others are, the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop Hassan Kukah, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, Alhaji Falalu Bello, AVM Mouktar Mohammed, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, Hon. Ghali Na’abba, Dr. Usman Bugaje and Dr. Junaidu Mohammed.
Also expected are: Alhaji Adamu Waziri; Alhaji Aliko Mohammed; Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Prof. Mike Kwanashie; Prof. Ummu Jalingo; Garbadeen Mohammed; Mohammed Haruna; Dr. Sadiq Umar Gombe; Comrade Isa Tijjani; Major General Paul Tarfa (retd); Senator George Akume; Senator Joseph Waku and Nafiu Baba-Ahmed, among others. The Sun