The governors, at the gathering, which finished around 12.30am, the NGF Administrator and Ekiti State lead representative, Kayode Fayemi said attempted a complete audit of security challenges the nation over, distinguished the different components of instability in the country and consented to receive wide measures to guarantee the assurance of lives and property.
Some of the measures include increased funding for security agencies, strengthening the National Livestock Transformation Plan by adopting modern grazing and livestock management approaches and reviewing of the nation’s forestry management and environmental laws to ensure effective management of the nation’s forest resource.
Fayemi, who addressed the press after the meeting, said the governors also agreed to work on ways to ensure better management of the nation’s borders to curb unbridled inflow of human, cattle and arms; ensure synergy between mainstream security agencies and local security arrangements like Civilian JTF, Vigilante groups, Amotekun and others; and strengthen the judicial system for prompt prosecution of criminal cases.
He said members of the NGF hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to agree to request by Nigerians to change the Service Chiefs, adding that the governors, who assured of their irrevocable commitment to the protection of lives and property in their states, equally pledged to support the new Service Chiefs.
Fayemi added that the governors were totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime, knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, “whether we are talking of the way youths were profiles in Germany, leading to the world war; or we talking of the way Tutsis were profiled, leading to the genocide experienced in Rwanda.”
The governors, Fayemi said, frowned at the increasing peddling of fake news and abuse of social media, and promised to ensure the prosecution of all cases of criminality without ethnic, religious or any other colouration.
According to him: “Governors are irrevocably committed to the protection of lives and property in our states, And, we are full of sympathy with those who have lost lives and property. The Governors’ Forum has gone ahead also, to provide some financial support to victims of the conflicts experienced in Oyo and Ogun states where our delegation visited over the last week.
“Nigerian governors also are very clear that crime and criminality should be comprehensively prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic, religious or any other colouration.
“Governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime, knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, whether we are talking of the way youths were profiles in Germany, leading to the world war; or we talking of the way Tutsis were profiled, leading to the genocide experienced in Rwanda.
“We do not believe that crimes are associated with particular ethnic group. And to that extent, we unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethnic group on account of a particular crime.
“Governors are also totally opposed to the proliferation of fake news, and the abuse of social media. Many of us have seen those fake videos that have almost led to reprisals in other parts of the country and we want to explore both our mainstream media organizations as well as individuals to apply restraint in the way and manner issues relating to security of lives and property is reported.
“Our meeting also reviewed the challenge of resources for our military institutions. We welcome the appointment of new services chiefs and we are fully supportive of the work that they have promised to do. We hope new security architecture will emerge from this new leadership.
“On our part, we are prepared to support the dedication of portions of the Excess Crude Account and the Natural Resource Development Fund or the Economic Stabilization Fund to providing the necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions to address immediately the impunity associated with all of the crimes and criminality that we have highlighted in this briefing.
“In this wise, we have also expressed an interest in strengthening our judicial system so that they can accelerate access to justice for victims of crime and criminality in the country.
“Governors also reviewed the need to strengthen the National Livestock Transformation Plan, because it the view of all the governors in Nigeria that the traditional approach to grazing is no longer sustainable and that modern approaches to grazing and livestock management need to be put in plane.
“And governors feel strongly that the strengthening of the National Livestock Transformation Plan would be a good place to start this comprehensive revisiting of the livestock management arrangement.
“Governors also highlighted, in the course of our meeting, the importance of reviewing our forestry management and environmental laws, because we feel very strongly that our forests have become the den of these criminals and bandits simply because they have not been properly managed across the board.
“And to this end, it is the considered view of governors that the forestry management arrangement needs to be immoderately reviewed in collaboration with the federal authority so that these problems that we have encountered can be immediately addressed.
“Governors are concerned about our borders management, because many of these crimes have also been associated with the country’s porous borders. We have received a whole numbers of reports from our colleagues her today about some of the problems in their states are linked to the porosity of our borders, and the importance of strengthening the provision of the ECOWAS Trans-Human Protocol in order to address the unbridled movement of cattle from across the borders.
“We also believe that the porosity of our borders is also responsible for the proliferation of light weapons and small arms as well. We have always had disagreements among farmers and herders, but the virulence and violence that we have witnessed recently is as a result of the proliferation of weapons, because many of the people involved in this are found to have been carrying around AK47 and other lethal weapons, which have been a problem in the various states.
“Governors have also been concerned about achieving synergy between mainstream security institutions and state or local security arrangements that have emanated in response to these challenges that we have found ourselves in, because some of these institutions, vigilante groups, Civilian JTF, Amotekun and others need to be synergized so that they would not take laws into their hands without taking into account the fundamental human rights of those who may be innocent of crimes in their jurisdictions.
“We need to value Mr. president for reacting to the call by all Nigerians for an adjustment in help Bosses, and as I said, we wholeheartedly uphold the change and are prepared, as governors, to work with the new security bosses so as to ideally seeing the development of another security design that will give wellbeing and security to all residents of Nigeria,” Fayemi said.