Northern Governors have called for a collective approach towards preventing the menace of flooding in the region and entire country, urging the federal and state governments to work with regulatory authorities to achieve this.
The Governors also expressed readiness to drive the process to sustain peace in the 19 Northern states in the country.
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, who is also the Governor of Gombe State, made the appeal, Tuesday, while speaking to State House Correspondents, after he met behind closed doors with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Inuwa noted that the process will change the narratives as well as give room for more development, even as he called for all hands to be on the deck to salvage the menace of flooding in the country.
“You see flooding too is a global or national phenomenon that is being felt elsewhere. Mind you, if you talk of flood from the north is either through the tributaries of the rivers, Niger and Benue, that link up the conference in Lokoja and then run down to the Delta ending in Bayelsa to the Atlantic Ocean, and those tributaries as a result of the change in the nature and geography.
“There is siltation, a lot of siltation, and also as a result of poor farming practices and deforestation, the forest and our farms have now turned into and gateway for the desert. And those exacerbated sanitation that takes place along the streams and rivers. So, we must work as one people.
“The problem of flooding is virtually a national issue now, you know, global warming and climate change is affecting the entire globe, and for that, we are strategizing. We would not like a repeat of what happened last year to occur again this year. But in whatever we do, we have to be both proactive and reactive.
“We have not acted in the way that we solved all the problems of last year, and this has started. So, we need to double you know, we’ll do some little backtracking and move in to catch up with the current trends and do the needful.
“So, all hands must be on deck NiMET, the states, NEMA, and whoever has an interest in the environment and environmental control has to come together and work with the government in order to solve the problem,” he said.
Further, Governor Yahaya said: “As the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, I will ensure that we get to the roots of all the problems, and through the support of the Federal government and the various State governments, we will come up with the solutions; things that will trigger positive actions and reactions and very soon by the grace of God, the narrative will change and we will have a peaceful north that is contributing to the development and prosperity of Nigeria.”
On security in the north, the governor Yahaya expressed readiness to replicate what Gombe State has done to sustain peace despite security challenges from its neighbours.
“There is peace in Gombe for so many reasons like the nature of our people. We are a mixture of people of several ethnic groups and religions living together peacefully. Within a family, you have people of different faiths but having the same parents and because of that, the background is so unique that we have built on it to sustain the relationship.
“Secondly the government is focused on security and is working day and night together with the security agencies in the State to ensure that there is compliance with law and order and that is feasible to a reasonable extent in Gombe.
“Then there are issues that have to do with resources, especially land, because our people are peasant farmers, those involved in crop production and livestock production so in-between, because of the encroachment of our grazing and forest reserves plus the cattle routes, issues resulted into rustling, banditry, and kidnap for ransom, which is prevalent in the North-West and North-Central.
“So, at the moment we are focusing on maintaining the peace by providing resources for everybody and every sector in a way that we always understand and cooperate to sustain peace and tranquillity in the State and that is why Gombe has made some difference.”