By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Sa’ad, other traditional, religious and opinion leaders were conspicuously absent Monday at Arewa House, venue of the
NorthWest Governors and traditional rulers town hall meeting with security with the new security chiefs, led by the Defence Chief, General Leo Irabor.
Apparently marred by low turnout, the parley convened to address security challenges in the region had only Emir of Zazzau Ambassador Nuhu Bamali and all the Governors of the NorthWest.
The participants howner went into a close door meeting with the military leaders before, addressing the general gathering to convey the decision that the town hall meeting has been rescheduled due to poor turnout of other critical stakeholders.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai who addressed the gathering said the new leadership of the military chiefs, is in the State to discussed with stakeholders in the North West zone, on why they should join hands together in putting an end to the insecurity in the region.
According to him, the military leaders have mapped out “a new security architecture that would end the security challenges, adding that it was commendable, “and we are satisfied with this show of commitment”.
El-rufai told the security leaders that they’ve confidence “under your leadership and based on your past record to end the affliction that have affected our families, livelihoods and our nation”.
However, the Governor lamented over why the town hall meeting could not hold as scheduled, saying, “this town hall meeting is not possible to be completed, with the absence of most key stakeholders and because of the short notices”.
“You can see that it is only the Emir of Zazzau that represents all the Emirs and traditional rulers in the North West States here. Each of the traditional and religious leaders in the seven States in the North West are supposed to be here, but they are not”.
“Other stakeholders that are supposed to be here are not here, because they are going round, trying to calm down the very tensed situation we are facing in most parts of North West. This is because of events happening not only in the North, but in other parts of Nigeria”.
Governor El-rufai remarked: ” there are fake video clips circulating the country that have raised tension and agitation. And most of us as Governors have in the last few weeks , going round talking to stakeholders and appealing to religious and Community leaders to calm people down”.
“And many of our traditional leaders are also engaging in that. Not only in our States but in other places. That is why many of them are not here”.
El-rufai argued that the seriousness of the security challenges in the country is the reason “why the NSA and the new service chiefs felt this town hall meeting should be reconvened, in the next week’s or so, and we give people adequate notice, not only to consult with the grassroot, but to be here to consult with local intelligence so that our new security chiefs can plan better”.
The Governor further lamented the havoc caused by armed bandits, saying “even the members of the armed forces are loosing their lives daily”.
“The bandits are becoming bolder, they even have the ordersity now to attack security tanks, ambush those on patrol, and lives are being lost”.
“We need to support our military and police so that we out this problem behind us”, he added.
Meanwhile, speaking at the occasion, the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Babagana Mongunu, said that gave reason for the prolong security challenges in the country, pointing out that “the nature of the 21st century warfare is complex.
” That is why we need a multifaceted approach in dealing with the current security challenges”, he noted.
Mongunu said: “I don’t want to believe some pessimists that we are not trying to end the insecurity. President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to bring an end to the insecurity in our country and that is what we are doing”.
Among those who were present at the Arewa meeting was a prominent Northern cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.
It was also learnt that Kano State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was in the meeting for the first after his rift with el-Rufai over romance of later with the deposed Emir Sunusi Lamido Sanusi Il, forced them to held the meeting at arewa house and later moved to government kaduna.