By HENRY UMORU
PROMINENT Northern leaders have begun the process of bringing together all groups in the North under one umbrella as a way of projecting a common position on all issues affecting the region.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja yesterday, the northern leaders, comprising past heads of state, former army and air chiefs, politicians, businessmen, also expressed worry over the insecurity situation in the zone with particular reference to the activities of members of the Boko Haram sect that have, of recent, engaged in bombings leading to deaths and wanton destruction of property.
The meeting, held at the Niger Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, had in attendance former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; ex-head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Nigeria Permanent Representatives to the Unjited Nations, Alhaji Yusufu Maitama Sule; former Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Marshall Al-Amin Daggash; former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi; and ex- Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma.
Also at the meeting were former president, Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir; former Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, General Paul Tarfa, rtd; Alhaji Sule Kantagum; Senator John Wash Pam; Bello Kirfi; former Minister of Environment, Sani Zango Daura, among others.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that, at the end of the meeting, two committees: One on security and another to bring together all groups in the north under one roof, were set up by the leaders. Daggash heads the committee on security while Senator John Pam chairs the other committee.
The Daggash-led committee is saddled with the responsibility of looking at the issue of insecurity that has suddenly become a major problem in the north and the country as well as suggest ways on how to solve the poverty problem and that of unemployment in the North.
The other committee will report to the group at the end of the day ways of bringing all the groups, associations in the North together to ensure that the region does not have discordant views on issues affecting them and how to respond to what may be brought on board under one umbrella.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the two committees are expected to complete their assignments before the end of the month and report to the northern leaders when they reconvene on April 7.
It will be recalled that concerned northerners, including governors, politicians, academics and other professionals, on Tuesday, set up ten committees to articulate northern interests especially with regard to discussing the future of Nigeria under the aegis of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC.