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Bandits relocating to North-East, govs raise the alarm



The North-East Governors’ Forum says the mass exodus of bandits from the North-West region has made the relative peace in the region vulnerable.

Our correspondent reports that governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno Gombe, and Yobe states were present except their Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishaku, who was represented at its seventh meeting held in Gombe.

The group stated this on Friday night in its nine-point communique read by Governor Mai Mala Buni, of Yobe State and signed by the Chairman of the North-East Forum, the Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.

The forum stressed the need for a road map with the support of the Federal Government to dismantle the criminals.

According to the forum, there is a nexus between mining activities and insecurity, stressing the need for strict compliance with the Land Use Act.

The communique partly read, “The forum lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies for their effort in combating the Boko Haram insurgency. It noted the improvement in the security situation in the region which had largely been achieved through kinetic and non-kinetic measures.

“The forum noted the relative peace being experienced in the sub-region, especially the reduced incidences of farmer-herder clashes, as encouraging. However, there is increasing vulnerability of the region to insecurity due to the mass movement of the bandits who are gradually being pushed out of the North-West by the security forces.  On the influx of the bandits, there is an urgent need to launch a coordinated security road map in conjunction with the security agencies and the Federal Government.

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“The forum  noted the link between mining activities and insecurity, especially the abuse of the mining leases.  It therefore resolved to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.”

The group also bemoaned the power distribution in the region estimated at five  per cent, adding that the Federal Government should expedite action towards harnessing the potential of the Mambila power project.

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