Address by Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the meeting of Northern Governors’ Forum and Northern Traditional Rulers, at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, on Monday 23rd January, 2017.
It is with profound gratitude to God and deepest respect that I, on behalf of the Government and good people of Kaduna state, warmly welcome you to this extraordinary meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum in conjunction with the Chairmen, Northern States Council of Chiefs holding in our dear State.
We are greatly honoured to host this meeting of great significance comprising the 19 Northern States Governors and our Royal Fathers from the various States of Northern Nigeria.
Your overwhelming attendance at this meeting further demonstrates your resolve towards uniting and building a peaceful society and promoting stability and socio-economic development of the region for which we are most grateful.
This meeting is coming at a time when all hands must be on deck to complement Government effort in the restoration of peace in different parts of the North and Nigeria as a whole. I believe that one of the major issues that would occupy our time today is to discuss the security challenges bedeviling this part of the country, especially clashes between Herdsmen and local Communities, Terrorism, Kidnapping, Cattle Rustling, among others. As we all know, Traditional Institutions are the closest organ of Government to the grass root. Your participation on issues of security therefore cannot be over-emphasized.
All Political, Traditional and Religious leaders must rise in condemning the incessant killings and destruction of lives and properties in our region. The security situation has become ever more worrisome,as people who have co-existed peacefully for several years have now allowed some unscrupulous elements to instigate them to take arms against one another, leading to the wanton destruction of the lives of innocent and law abiding citizens.
This is not only reprehensible but most condemnable. It therefore, becomes incumbent on us to assist Government and Security Agencies in bringing all kinds of criminal elements in our midst to justice, without regard to their ethnic and religious pretensions.
I wish to call on my colleagues, the Northern States Governors in collaboration with our Royal Fathers to join hands together and never give up in the pursuit of peace and progress for the region. We must strive and restore our region to the status of its glorious past of peace, progress and development.
On our part, we have not relented in our efforts in encouraging our diverse people to bridge the communication gaps between and amongst them. We must not allow religion or tribal differences to be a barrier between us and our common humanity.
As I conclude my remarks, let me congratulate our Royal Fathers for their exemplary role played I uniting our region. His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto has also continued to demonstrate his sterling leadership abilities in uniting our people across religious and ethnic divides.
I wish to urge our Royal Fathers to sensitize your subjects in your various domains to regard the issue of security as a collective responsibility of all and to continue to assist Government in her efforts of restoring lasting peace in our Nation.
With much gratitude to God, I wish to once again welcome you all to Kaduna State. We wish you a very pleasant stay in Kaduna.
Thank you and God bless.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai