Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, have both expressed support for the formation of the North Central Peoples Forum, saying, “it is a welcome development for the North Central geopolitical zone of the county.”
The two former leaders’ endorsement of the forum followed the recent position of the North Central Governors Forum which distanced itself from the forum, saying it was illegal.
The North Central Governors Forum (NCGF) whose Chairman is the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in a communique after its meeting last August practically disowned the North Central Peoples Forum “saying that the group is not recognized by the leadership of the North Central geopolitical zone.”
But General Babangida and General Abdulsalami in the separate audience with the leadership of the forum led by the former Minister of FCT and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2019 General elections in Plateau State, Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni in Minna, Niger State capital, on Tuesday, expressed their total support for the Forum.
The first point of call by the forum was the residence of General Abdulsalami Abubakar where the former head of state told the leadership of the forum that the formation of the regional group was long overdue.
General Abdulsalami commended the those behind the formation of the North Central People’s Forum which he said will bring the necessary harmony among the people of the zone.
He urged the forum to focus its activities on how to attract development to the region which he said is blessed with human and material resources, stressing that “with the calibre of people that I have seen here today, I am convinced that they will galvanize the region to a greater height.”
Former Military President, General Babangida, while receiving the forum at his Uphill Mansion, said the formation of the forum is the best thing that has happened to the region which he pointed out is the envy of other regions.
Babangida said that “God has blessed the North Central zone, but it has not been able to organize itself to play a leading role in the scheme of things in the country.”
According to him, “you have made my day today. I have heard of North East, North West commission, South-South Peoples Forum and the rest of them but when I didn’t hear of North Central, I kept wondering what is happening until this day.
“I know you will be the envy of all the regions. In the area of votes, the North Central has more than the North West, yet North West make more noise than the North Central.”
Babangida, therefore, commended the leadership of the forum for a job well done and expressed his total support to enable it to succeed in all its activities.
Earlier, the Chairman Board of Trustee (BOT) of the forum, Lt. General Jeremiah Useni told the two former leaders that the forum is not in any way a breakaway from the Arewa Consultative Forum, adding that just like every other regional body, the North Central Forum was formed to address some development challenges in the zone.
He said that forum will go along way in bringing the needed peace, harmony and development in the zone, pointing out that “with this forum, there shouldn’t be any disharmony anymore in the zone.”
Credit: Nigerian Tribune