Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the meeting of the Northern State Governors’ Forum, held at the Council Chambers, Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, on Thursday, 25th February 2021
1. I wish to welcome my brother governors and our traditional rulers to this meeting. It is coming at a moment of when our region and our country are confronting monumental perils. Fate has entrusted with a duty, not only to provide a shelter from the storm, but also to help find a way to remove the triggers of the storm. In discharge of this obligation, many of us continue to engage in nationwide efforts to avert anarchy and advance the prospects of securing a breakthrough moment for our country.
2. The northern states are especially affected by these tensions and challenges. In many of our states, criminal elements are wrecking the rural economy, driving our farmers from their fields, threatening lives and livelihoods and putting food security at risk. Communal tensions persist in some places, setting up ethnicity and religion as sources of conflict. We continue to grapple with the challenge of protecting our youth from the vice of substance abuse, and empowering them with skills and jobs.
3. The agenda for today’s meeting reflects an awareness of these challenges and our determination to address them. I am delighted to note that we shall be considering the reports of committees we charged last year to propose measures on security, regional economic development, youth engagement and how to better involve our traditional institutions in governance that will contribute in making our region better.
4. Working with our traditional institutions, community and civic leaders, we need to accelerate efforts to avail our region every chance to successfully engage the challenges and possibilities of the 21st Century. We need enduring peace and security to ensure that our people can prosper and that our states can develop. Amidst the fears and despairs of the moment, we have a chance to offer hope and buoy up the spirit of our people.
5. Our people are looking up to us for solutions. We need peace and security in the north and Nigeria. There is no time to engage in analysis-paralysis. There is no room to trading blame. There is no space for partisanship. Our people are in dire straits. We must discharge our duty as leaders to them by collaborating across all divides to solve the challenges that confront our region and Nigeria.
6. I wish us successful deliberations. Thank you for listening. God Bless Northern Nigeria. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.