Community leader urges ACF, NEF others to merge

The Leader of Arewa Community in the South-South, Alhaji Musa Saidu, has urged Northern leaders to float one organisation that would unify the region and promote peaceful co-existence.

He said regional groups such as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the Middle Belt Forum and others should merge so as to advance the cause of the region and speak with one voice.

Saidu, who is also a chieftain of ACF, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the proliferation of so many groups has not added any meaningful value to the region.

He said that rather than promote the region, the groups have been working at cross purposes and dividing the region on many fronts.

 “Today, we have seen the emergence of many organisations, creating division among northerners, these groups are operating like political parties and business financial ventures, exploiting people in the region,’’ he claimed.

Saidu said that the dream of the pioneer leaders of the ACF was to unite the region to contribute more meaningfully to national discourse and development.

According to him, ACF pioneer leaders such as late M.D Yusuf, late Chief Sunday Awoniyi and Gen. I.B.M Haruna were frustrated by some elites in the region for their selfish interest.

Saidu, therefore, said time has come for the North to have a single voice on national issues just like Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere.

The community leader commended the Northern Governors Forum’s agenda for the region, but cautioned against political intrigues in the implementation of the agenda.

Saidu, however, said that the governors must show more commitment to ending insecurity in the region.

“It is obvious that the southern governors are more committed than their northern colleagues in tackling insecurity.

”Our governors need to do a lot more; it is sad to throw our region and our people into a state of uncertainty while the elites are reluctantly taking action,’’ he said.

To tackle the security challenges in the region, Saidu said there must be coordinated action to arrest and prosecute those sponsoring the bandits and terrorists, adding that anything short of that would only open new fronts for the criminals to operate.

”The fact that the hideouts of the terrorists are well known, raises questions to why they have been allowed to unleash terror on citizens, it is time to eliminate them and their sponsors.

”President Bola Tinubu should give deadline to the security agencies to do that or the security chiefs should be made to go.

”The continuous existence of the bandits and terrorists is an indication of the failure of security; the President should not allow this to continue,’’ Saidu said. 

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