File image of a bandits.
Maiduguri—North East Governors’ Forum, NEGF, has raised concern over influx of bandits in some states in the sub-region.
The concern is contained in a communique issued at the just-concluded 8th meeting of the forum in Maiduguri, signed by its Chairman, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.
The forum, which called for Federal Government’s urgent intervention, said the bandits were those flushed by the military in other parts of the country, now moving towards the sub-region, particularly Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states.
“While acknowledging the relative success recorded against insurgency, a new dimension of growing banditry is added to worsen the security situation in the subregion. The forum calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to address the issue.
“The forum is aware that some traditional rulers and other local authorities are conniving with the bandits, giving them shelter and cover to commit crimes within the subregion. The forum unanimously resolved to decisively deal with any traditional ruler or community leader that is found to be harbouring or conniving with the bandits,” the communique stated.
It also raised concern over the proliferation of illegal mining in the region which was becoming a problem because of the link between mining activities and insecurity, particularly the abuse of the mining leases.
It urged governments at all levels to enforce compliance with the provisions of local content as contained in Nigeria’s Mining Policy and the need for strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.
The communiqué also noted the issue of Climate Change and environmental degradation affecting the subregion and last year’s flood that devastated property and livelihoods, increasing the sufferings of the people.
“This has been compounded by the silting of our rivers as well as deforestation brought about by the massive charcoal business. There is the need for the Federal Government’s intervention in the area of desilting the rivers.”