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2015: Northern Govs In Crucial Meeting, To Present One Candidate – Leadership

Governors of the 19 Northern States who are currently meeting behind closed doors in Kaduna have decided to present a sole candidate for the presidential position in 2015.

Governors of Niger State and Chairman of the forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu who made this known while declaring the meeting open, urged the governors not to be distracted by the politics of 2015.

He said, “I believe that we should not allow what will happen in 2015 to distract us. Instead of talking development and security issues, we have been discussing more on 2015.

“2015 belongs to God and what God has already arranged will come to pass. Therefore as governors we must allow those who want to make noise about 2015 to continue to do so, but we must not allow ourselves to be dragged into such discussions.

“But, we must also resolve that by 2015, we are going as a united constituent group. There were times when we went as constitutionalist and federalist as well as regionalist.

“This time around we must do everything within the time period to unite ourselves and to go as a united group. We must understand that the interest of the people is paramount.

“We must also understand that there are political parties and platforms and it is the interest of the people that should guide our action, our interest and our activities,” Governor Aliyu said.

Gov. Aliyu also commended the Federal Government’s efforts to check security challenges and pledged to end the spate of violence in the region.

Babangida said: “The Federal Government should be commended for its readiness to dialogue on security issues with various interest groups. ’’

He pleaded with the governors to find a means of getting a solution to end the crises and allow peace to reign in their states.

He said individuals and groups seeking to restore normalcy should be encouraged to do so.

“It is unfortunate that the situation has not abated; rather, it is worsening and attaining alarming dimensions with attendant negative implications for the economic growth and development of our nation; and indeed, our national image.

“We are passing through a very difficult phase in the history of our nation, a period that puts our patriotism, nationalism, sincerity and responsibility to test.

“This is the period that we have to demonstrate, individually and collectively, our abiding faith in our nation.

“When we must confront the common enemies of the nation, those who are sworn to destroying the spirit of nationhood through wanton destruction of lives and property,’’ he said.

Babangida also lauded the Federal Government’s initiative on promoting the Almajiri education system and advised the governors to domesticate the programme.

He enjoined his colleagues not to be distracted by political campaigns for 2015, telling them to put their faith in God and redeem their electoral pledges.

“If our present opportunity as governors and leaders cannot earn us paradise, it should not send to hell fire; we must ensure that we enter 2015 as a peaceful and united constituent of Nigeria,’’ he said.

Babangida announced that the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, designed to accelerate development in the region, had collected N2.3 billion as donations and on investments.

He assured that the proceeds would be reinvested in social development projects to improve the living standards of the people.

The governors of Kaduna, Sokoto, Borno, Adamawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Benue, Plateau and Niger attended the meeting, while those of Nasarawa, Kwara, Bauchi, Kano, Gombe, Kogi and Zamfara were represented by their deputies but Yobe, Jigawa and Taraba were absent.

A communiqué is expected at the end of the meeting.

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