The Northern States Governors Forum recently set up a committee to look into the state of insecurity in the region.
The move considered belated in some quarters, is the first overt move by the northern governors to stem the crisis that has turned the region into a theatre of war.
The decision of the governors of the 19 northern states to set up a 41-man committee to address the spate of bombings and other terrorist actions in the region came out of the blue. For long the governors had kept mute on the issue with many of them skirting around calls for decisiveness from the populace.
Their silence and that of other notable northern leaders at one point forced the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, to chide them over what he insinuated was either cowardice or cringing fear.
Speaking during an Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, summit in January, Senator Mark berated Northern leaders over their inability to condemn terrorism in the region. He had fumed: “Won’t we be able to condemn current degree of insecurity in the North occasioned and heightened by Boko Haram? Are we afraid to openly condemn Boko Haram either for political reasons or out of fear of possible attack by the sect? ”
Despite this challenge by Mark and several others, nothing much came from the northern leaders and governors except, calls now and then, for dialogue with the sect by a few northern radicals such as Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Ali Monguno, Shehu Sani and the Arewa Consultative among others.
The 41-man rescue squad: The seeming quietness inevitably sent signals of acceptance of the actions of the Boko Haram group by the northern leaders. Even when northerners and Muslims were the subject of the attack as it happened in Kano last January, not much expression of revulsion was expressed. It was as such not surprising that some alleged that Boko Haram had become a tool by the north’s elite to negotiate power ahead of the 2015 general elections.