The Northern States Governors' Forum today held an emergency meeting in Kaduna following Shiites and Nigerian Army clash in Zaria, Kaduna state in which over 100 persons were brutally killed.
The governors said they held the meeting to avoid Boko Haram mistake of 2009 that brought about the insurgency that led to the killing of over ten thousand lives and destruction of properties and displacement of thousands from their homes.
The chairman of the forum and governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima in his opening remarks before the governor went into a close-door session said, "we are here in connection with what happened in Zaria, first because the issue has to do with an Islamic group that has membership across the nineteen States in the north and beyond.
"We want to look how to ensure that the incident does not provide room for anyone or group to perpetuate violence in any of the 19 northern States. We already have the serious problems of Boko Haram to contend with."
Explaining the need to avoid the mistake of Boko Haram crises, the governor "we are not in any way comparing the Islamic Movement with Boko Haram, no. But we don't want the same mistake that happened over the Boko Haram crisis to repeat itself. When Boko Haram went wild in July, 2009 with clashes between them and the police in Bauchi on 25th and 26th in Maiduguri, most Nigerians saw the issues as the problems of Bauchi and Borno. When they continued to attack Borno and Yobe, it became the affairs of Borno and Yobe States. All of a sudden, there was suicide attack in Abuja in 2012 and then everything went out of control and we are where are today.
"So, like I said, we do not make any comparison between the murderously violent Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic Movement but we are here to analyze and ensure that we take measures that will close any avenue which some people may want to seize to create violence in the immediate or long run. Moreover, Kaduna is the socio-political heart of the northern Nigeria. Kaduna is to us, what Lagos is to the South West. What affects Kaduna State invariably affects the whole north. If you notice, we make it a duty to travel to Kaduna to hold our meeting instead of holding it in Abuja. Kaduna is the headquarters of the northern Nigeria but it will have that significance if we accord it the relevance it deserves. We have a duty to preserve history and our values by coming here."