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Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman, Gombe Governor Yahaya proposes ‘4D’ approach to tackling region’s insecurity 

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By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi

The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has put forth a fresh strategy in addressing the ongoing challenge of insecurity in the region.

The strategy tagged “4D” is part of renewed commitment to seeking a lasting solution to the persistent problem.

The Governor announced the proposed approach at the opening of a Roundtable on Insecurity, themed “Multi-dimensional Approach to Tackling Insecurity in Northern Nigeria” organized by the Coalition of Northern Nigeria which held on Wednesday at the Nigerian Army Resource Center in Abuja. 

This was contained in a statement by Ismaila Uba Misilli, Director-General, Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe. 

According to the NSGF Chairman, the  “4D”, represents a comprehensive and multi-dimensional framework focusing on four key pillars: promoting development; enhancing defence mechanisms; promoting open dialogue; and encouraging diplomatic efforts. 

He explained that the intention was to create a well-rounded and holistic strategy to address the complex security challenges to ensure a more effective and enduring response to the challenges beyond the traditional measures especially the rising cases of kidnap-for-ransom, rural banditry, communal and religious-related crisis and farmer-harder clash among others. 

Inuwa Yahaya said that, “In order to develop a multi-dimensional approach to tackling our security challenges, I’m advocating the 4D approach: Development, Defence, Dialogue and Diplomacy. On development, today, Northern Nigeria ranks lowest across all indices of human development.”

He also said that,”This provides a fertile ground for terrorism and all forms of insecurity. To address this, we must put all hands on deck to address the root causes of under-development in northern Nigeria. 

“These include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, population explosion and environmental degradation. We must invest in infrastructure, human capital, agriculture, renewable energy, digital economy and the restoration of our environment”, he said. 

He stressed that, “on defence, we need to invest heavily in security. We must strengthen the capabilities of our security agencies to adequately respond to emerging security threats.” 

The Governor added that, “This requires investment in manpower, training and capacity building, equipment and logistics, enhanced intelligence capabilities, legal reforms, improved welfare, and sustained local collaboration.” 

He further said that, “Also, dialogue is necessary. We must seek to foster a culture of trust and accountability. We must deny divisive elements and conflict merchants the opportunity to divide us. As the late Sir Ahmadu Bello eloquently expressed, we are a “People of many different races, tribes and religion who are knit together to common history, common interest and common ideas, the things that unite us are us are stronger than the things that divide us.

“We must therefore work with civil society groups, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and all relevant stakeholders in order to foster dialogue and understanding among our diverse communities”, he added. 

Yahaya further remarked that, “as leaders, we must all take responsibility and join hands to reverse this ugly trend. We must recognize the urgency of the situation and make strong commitment towards the safety and wellbeing of our people. It is a challenge that affects us all. It acknowledges neither tribe nor religion.”

According to him,”No one (rich or poor, high or low, young or old) is immune from its consequences. And as a forum, we will continue to strongly commit to the safety and stability of our region.”

The Governor also expressed his dissatisfaction on how the issue of drug abuse is being handled in the Northern region, noting that drug abuse poses serious security threat as it plays a great role in fuelling insecurity in the region while urging leaders in the region to give the menace the desired attention it deserves to tackle it. 

He stressed that, “The issue of drug abuse, and its role in fuelling insecurity, is one that is not receiving the desired attention. It is a major threat to both the present and the future of our youth.

“We must combat this menace and take our youth off the streets, lest they become a ticking time-bomb of socioeconomic discontents, with severe consequences on social stability and internal cohesion”, he said. 

In their separate remarks, the Vice President of Nigeria, Sen. Kashim Shettima (represented), Ministers of Defence, Sen. Badaru Abubakar and Muhammad Bello Matawalle, all pledged federal government’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety and stability of Nigeria, reassuring that President Tinubu’s administration is prioritising the security of Nigeria and its citizens across all parts of the country. 

The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III, as well as Prof. Attahiru Jega and Dr. Audu Ogbeh, among other speakers, remarked that leaders and all stakeholders must shift attention to addressing the root causes of insecurity in the region holistically in order to provide a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity that is threatening the progress and prosperity of the Northern region.

The programme was attended by Governors of the Northern States, representatives of the federal government, former Nigerian leaders, heads of the military and other security agencies, as well as relevant stakeholders and civil society organisations.

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