Nigeria, Niger To Hold High-powered Security Summit

Nigeria, Niger To Hold High-powered Security Summit

By Ibrahim Goronyo, Sokoto

The states of Niger Republic (Dosso, Maradi and Tahoua) and those of the North West states of Nigeria bordering Niger Republic; Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina) will soon convene their high-powered security summit to find lasting solutions to the perennial problem of insecurity that has occasioned the displacement of some Nigerians to Niger Republic.

In the meantime, Sokoto State Government will soon dispatch relief materials worth millions of naira to the IDP camps at Dan Dadji Makaou, Shadakori and Garin Kaka villages in Maradi Region where Sokoto State indigenes displaced as a result of the activities of some bandits in the Eastern flank of the state are being sheltered with the cooperation of the government of Niger Republic, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and some non-governmental organizations.

At the end of the visit to the IDP camps, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his delegation, comprising of heads of Nigerian security organizations in the state and stakeholders, including some traditional rulers of the beleaguered Eastern part of the state had a preparatory meeting with his host, the Governor of Maradi, Hon Zakari Oumarou, some representatives of security outfits in Niger Republic and a cross section of stakeholders, Governor Tambuwal disclosed the planned bilateral talks earlier during his visit to the Dan Dadji Makaou IDP camp, where he said: “we will meet and discuss with our counterparts here to ensure that this spate of insecurity is rolled back by God’s grace.”

This was contained in a release signed and issued to newsmen in Sokoto by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to governor Tambuwal, Muhammad Bello.
The statement further said although a date for the bilateral security summit has not been announced, Governor Tambuwal said its primary objective will be to deepen cooperation between the Nigerien region of Maradi and states of Dosso and Tahoua and the four North-Western states of Nigeria that have displaced persons in the Niger Republic.

According to him, the governments of the states that have displaced persons in Maradi in collaboration with the federal government will work together to ensure the restoration of peace in their affected areas and Nigeria in general.

While expressing appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari to his Nigerien counterpart, President Muhammad Bazoum for the efforts made to shelter the victims of banditry in Maradi, Governor Tambuwal also indicated that the security summit would fashion out how the displaced persons will be returned to their homes once it is feasible to do so.
“We thank God Almighty for making it possible for us to be here today at these IDP camps in Maradi region of Niger Republic where you are hosting our brothers and sisters.

“It is unfortunate that this has happened. It wasn’t our desire, but we are working hard with our government, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, to re-establish peace in all of the affected areas, not only in Sokoto state, but in the entire country.

“On this note, let me extend the felicitations of President Buhari to the President of Niger Republic, President Bazoum, for the hospitality and courtesies extended to our citizens that have had reasons, unfortunately, to leave their comfort zones and be here at these IDP camps.

“We thank the Governor of Maradi, the great people of this region, and, in particular, Garin Kaka and other host communities. 

“We must also thank all of the donor agencies that have been supportive of the refugees that are here. We assure you that we are working hand in hand with the Government of Niger Republic. By the grace of God, very soon these citizens of ours will be taken back to their respective homes in Nigeria,” he assured.

He appealed and cautioned the displaced persons, who have been described as law abiding by the Nigerien authorities, to sustain their good conduct, urging them to dutifully “continue to respect the laws of Niger Republic and all of the laws of your host communities.

Earlier in his remarks, Hon. Oumarou, the Prefect of Maradi region of the Niger Republic,  thanked the governor for the visit, since the incident happened he has always been in touch with Governor Tambuwal on how to find a lasting solution to the situation.

Hon. Oumarou said the number of refugees from Sokoto and other Nigerian states affected by banditry being reported in international media is being exaggerated. He added that the  actual figure will be released after a census that is being conducted.

He also expressed appreciation to the Sokoto state government through Governor Tambuwal for the previous support given to displaced persons when similar situation occurred and the ten truck loads of foodstuff and clothing to be delivered to the camps.

A representative of the victims,  Malam Anas Habibu, applauded Governor Tambuwal for the visit and the donation of the relief materials. He also thanked the Maradi government and other donor agencies for their support and assistance to them.

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