North-Central Breaks Away From ACF Over Insecurity, Forms New Group

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Following the worsening insecurity in northern Nigeria, prominent leaders from the North-Central geopolitical zone of the country have announced their exit from the northern group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the leaders announced the formation of the North Central Peoples Forum as a platform to fight insecurity and marginalisation.

It lamented that North-Central was bedevilled by vices, such as kidnapping, banditry and other forms of criminality spite the abundant mineral and human resources in the zone.

Despite the fact that the current chairman of the ACF is the immediate-past Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, who is from the North Central zone, the new North-Central group is being led by a former Minister of State for Health, Gabriel Aduku, who will serve as the interim chairman.

Members of the group include a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Jerry Useni, Ibrahim Mantu; a former Military Administrator of Kwara State, Col. David Bamigboye (retd.); and a former deputy chief of staff to the President, Olusola Akomode.

The Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah; a former Nigeria Ambassador to South Africa, Ahmed Ibeto; a media consultant, Alhaji Tajudeen Kareem; a former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Stephen Lawani and Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, among others were also listed as members.

Useni expressed confidence that the forum would unite the people of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory in their quest to ensure that peace and stability was established and sustained within the zone, adding that the forum would pursue rapid industrialisation across the zone.

He said the group will support and cooperate fully with the Federal Government for full and complete implementation of infrastructures, development projects situated in the zone, noting that every zone now has a common socio-political platform where they meet to discuss their strength and weakness with the view to propounding and promoting progress and development of the zone.

“The forum is also aimed at ensuring cooperation and support for the good policies and administration of the six governors of the zone, irrespective of our political, religious and ethnic differences.

“We will support and cooperate fully with the Federal Government for full and complete implementation of infrastructures, development projects situated in the zone and the involvement of the people of the zone in the national affairs of the country.

“We will promote, defend and strengthen North Central unity and the interest of its people in the context of one indivisible Nigeria and to contribute to the safeguarding of her territorial integrity.

“Consequently, every zone now has a common socio-political platform where they meet to discuss their strength and weakness with the view to propounding and promoting progress and development of the zone,” he said.

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