The North Central States Governors’ Forum on Monday called for the establishment of military camps or training grounds in forests in the region to check the movement of hoodlums.
The forum disclosed this in a communiquè read by its chairperson, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, shortly after their regional meeting in Makurdi, Benue State.
Newsmen report that the North Central governors met to discuss the security, economy, agriculture, infrastructure and other issues affecting the region.
The forum noted that the zone was going through trying times occasioned by kidnappings, cattle rustling, banditry, low agriculture production, infrastructure deficit and low internally generated revenue.
Mr Bello said the forum had resolved that there was need for the establishment of military camps or training grounds in forest zones within the region to block movement of hoodlums.
He said the military units should be Infantry-heavy with adequate support weapons and elements of armoured unit.
He said the forum also agreed to share intelligence amongst member states and create a multi-layer intelligence gathering.
The forum further commended the efforts of security agencies in tackling insecurity in the zone, urging them to do more through collaboration with member states to track the proliferation of light and small weapons.
“We jointly appeal to the Federal Government to support the Zone in its ongoing digital technology projects and other security preventive measures to fight all forms of criminality.
“Members states are to collaborate on the provision of security equipment and joint operations,” he said.
In agriculture, the forum urged all member states to key into the Federal Government’s Livestock Transformation Plan and adopt modern ways of livestock farming through the promotion of ranching and assist genuine livestock farmers.
They also urged member states to establish Livestock and Commodity Border markets.
“States in the zone should concentrate on infrastructural development such as roads and liaise with the Federal Government to rehabilitate federal roads and allow states to manage using the tolling system.
“Member states are to individually and collectively enact enabling laws to enhance revenue generation as a response to the dwindling FAAC allocation,’’ he said.
Mr Bello said the forum expressed concern on the upsurge of COVID-19 pandemic and urged citizens to obey all established protocols.
Governors in attendance at the meeting were AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Abubakar Bello, Niger, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
Gov Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State was represented by his deputy, Emmanuel Akabe, while the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Plateau, Danladi Atu, stood in for Governor Simon Lalong.