The North-East Governors’ Forum has accused certain traditional leaders of supporting banditry in their region.
The group made this allegation after meeting in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, on Saturday.
According to the governors, bandits have increased their criminal activities in Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba states.
In a communique signed by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno and the forum’s chairman, they acknowledged progress against insurgency but raised concerns about the growing threat of banditry in the area.
The forum called on the Federal Government to urgently address the issue and expressed awareness that some traditional rulers and local authorities are collaborating with bandits, offering them refuge and protection for criminal activities within the region.
The forum pledged to take strong action against any traditional ruler or community leader found complicit in supporting or providing cover for bandits. They also vowed to combat illegal mining activities which are contributing to insecurity in their respective states.
Regarding climate change, the forum pointed out issues like river siltation and deforestation caused by extensive charcoal production, exacerbating the situation. They called for strict regulations to effectively control deforestation and address this environmental challenge.
The North East of Nigeria has been heavily affected by attacks from banditry and terrorists over the years. There is insecurity in the country, but the north-east and the southeast have been the main receiving end of it.