The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged Northerners to be on their guard to stem moves from any group agitating for restructuring, a Biafra State, resource control and the Oduduwa Republic.
The BoT Chairman, Ambassador Shehu Malami, while addressing the 2nd meeting of the board on Wednesday in Kaduna, said the north needed to prepare even if the dialogue is preferred against any form of physical confrontation.
According to him: “We need to dwell on a serious note, the agitations for restructuring, the demand for a Biafra State by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), resource control by the South-South and Oduduwa Republic by some Yoruba Nationalist groups.
“While we do not harbour any fears for all these gimmicks, we must seriously be on our guard to stem any untoward moves from any group on our region.
“We need proper preparation even if the dialogue is preferred against any form of confrontation.
“It is for this reason that the ACF should take every reasonable step to interface with its counterparts- the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South Peoples Conference, the Oduduwa and the Afenifere as proposed last week during the NEC meeting of the ACF.”
He noted with concern the dwindling economic fortunes regionally and nationally and called the state government in the north to take decisive actions towards industrializing the region.
“Northern governors and persons of means should be in a position to establish banking and other financial institutions to facilitate growth and development,” he said.
Commenting on insecurity in the country, he said: “Despite efforts by the federal government to overcome the ravages of the Boko Haram insurgents mostly pronounced in the North-East geo-political zone and the resilience of the Armed Forces in fighting the odds, the so-called Fulani wanton killings and kidnapping, the herder-farmer face-off, and other insurgent groups masquerading as the Fulani or northerners as a whole, have all come to pose more security challenges facing the government and citizens.
“We owe a duty as ACF concerned with the security and welfare of our people, to critically examine the backgrounds and effects of these scourges militating against the enduring security, peace and harmony as a people and nation,” he added.
He then appealed to the government in the region to tap into available solid minerals and other resources abound in every state to change the fortunes of the region and the country at large, saying: “We are heavily endowed to feed not only Nigeria but most of the West and Central African Sub-regions.”