Following the feud between Zamfara State governor Lawal Dauda and his predecessor, Bello Matawalle, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), on Wednesday, asked both parties to exercise restraint in the interest of the region.
The forum also noted that the current conflicts between Aliko Dangote and Abdussamad Isiyaku Rabiu over cement prices, as well as the conflict of interest between Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State and Defense Minister Bello Mohammed Matawalle, are exacerbating the challenges faced by the Northern region in terms of security and the economy.
NEF Convener, Professor Ango Abdullahi, in a statement, called on leaders and stakeholders in the North to intervene by facilitating a reconciliation meeting among all the parties.
He said: “NEF is deeply concerned about the ongoing misunderstanding and widening rift between the eminent political and business leaders of Northern Nigeria, which is reflecting negatively on the region’s economic and political stability.”
The forum urges the conflicting parties to reconsider their ongoing conflicts and refocus on the common goal of securing and improving the lives of the people of the North by restraining themselves and their proxies or against going further with the media crossfire.
He added, “It is essential specifically, for the two leaders of Zamfara, Lawal and Matawalle to exercise restraint and maturity, and foster a spirit of unity and collaboration against the daunting insecurity in the state.
“The challenges faced by Zamfara require a collective effort, and it is only through working together that we can overcome them. Engaging in unnecessary conflicts and grandstanding only diverts attention from the real issues at hand and hinders progress in the search for collective and coordinated action.
“The people of the state are already burdened with numerous challenges, including insecurity, poverty, and a struggling economy. As leaders, it is our duty to alleviate these burdens and provide a better future for our citizens. However, by engaging in conflicts among ourselves, we are wasting valuable time and resources that could be better utilized in addressing these pressing issues.
“Alhaji Dangote and Abdussamad are both eminent business leaders and respected elders of the North who should be in the forefront of setting exemplary conducts for the benefit of the entire region.
“By fostering greater understanding and avoiding unnecessary conflicts, leaders can create a stable environment conducive to peace-building, progress, and development which will contribute to the overall stability and prosperity of the Northern region.
“As concerned elders of the North, and in recognition of the reality that the misunderstanding by these critical segments of the Northern leadership is undeniably not in the best tradition of the Northern culture and values, the NEF has resolved to engage the parties on all sides individually and collectively for final resolution of the various misunderstandings.”
He further said that the Forum will continue to monitor the development as it unfolds, hoping that the leaders will reclaim their statesmanship by exercising greater restraint for the interest of the region.
“NEF deems it imperative for leaders to prioritize unity and collaboration over personal conflicts. The challenges faced by the North require a united front, and it is only through collective action that we can overcome them. Let us set aside our differences and work towards a stable and prosperous future for the people of Zamfara State and the entire Northern region.”