By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Governors from Northern States of Nigeria Saturday warned the country’s Military authority not to create another Boko Haram insurgents in the nation, following a recent clash between army and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as Shi’ite sect, in Zaria, which left many sect members death.
According to the governors, there is need to avert similar incident that gave birth to the Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern part of the country.
Hundreds of Shi’ite sect members were killed by soldiers when the army stormed the house of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in Zaria.
The 19 Northern Governors gathered in Kaduna, northwest nigeria for an emergency meeting on the incidence that occurred in last weekend.
Speaking during the meeting, Chairman of the forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima said they are not out to compare the Shi’ite sect with Boko Haram.
“We are here in connection with what happened in Zaria, first because the issue has to do with an Islamic group that has membership across the nineteen States in the north and beyond.
“We want to look at how to ensure that the incident does not provide room for anyone or group to perpetuate violence in any of the 19 northern States.
“We already have the serious problems of Boko Haram to contend with. We are not in any way comparing the Islamic Movement with Boko Haram, no. But we don’t want the same mistake that happened over the Boko Haram crisis to repeat itself.
“When Boko Haram went wild in July, 2009 with clashes between them and the police in Bauchi on 25th and 26th in Maiduguri, most Nigerians saw the issues as the problems of Bauchi and Borno. When they continued to attack Borno and Yobe, it became the affairs of Borno and Yobe States.
“All of a sudden, there was suicide attack in Abuja in 2012 and then everything went out of control and we are where we are today.
“So, like I said, we do not make any comparison between the murderously violent Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic Movement, but we are here to analyze and ensure that we take measures that will close any avenue which some people may want to seize to create violence in the immediate, or long run,” he said.
The Governors forum also said they believe in the capability and competence of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to take necessary measures to address the incidence.
“We are very confident in the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, his competence and character have never come under any doubt. Soon after the Zaria crisis, the Governor was at the scene and he spoke with leader of the Islamic Movement and met the Chief of Army Staff.
“He addressed the people of Kaduna State on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and the Government took some firm far reaching measures it considers necessary. Malam El-Rufai is the man on ground, he knows the subject matter more than us and he knows the steps he deems most suitable after his extensive consultations. So, we are not here to do his job.
“Kaduna is the socio-political heart of the northern Nigeria. Kaduna is to us, what Lagos is to the South West. What affects Kaduna State invariably affects the whole north. If you notice, we make it a duty to travel to Kaduna to hold our meeting instead of holding it in Abuja. Kaduna is the headquarters of the northern Nigeria but it will have that significance if we accord it the relevance it deserves. We have a duty to preserve history and our values by coming here.
“We will be briefed on the Zaria incident and we will compare thoughts analytically and extensively. We will also be looking any other matter that affects the well being of the north and we shall brief the media on issues that we don’t consider too security sensitive to make public,” he said.
The governor’s chairman further commend the media for being their partners in progress.
Governors at the meeting include Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara, Idris Wada of Kogi, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, and Kashim Shettima of Borno State among others.