The North East Governors’ Forum has called on the federal government to grant the states powers to prosecute terror suspects.
Borno State governor and Chairman of the Forum, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum made the call at a meeting in Yola on Thursday.
He decried the fact that only the Attorney-General of the Federation had powers to handle terrorism-related cases, saying the process of moving suspects to Abuja for the prosecution was difficult.
Professor Babagana Umara Zulum while expressing concern about the rising cases of banditry and kidnapping in the region, called for an effective strategy to deal with the matter and ensure adequate protection for the people.
According to him, “The twin scourge is assuming a worrisome dimension in the North East as it is becoming rampant and widespread as inter-state road travel is becoming a virtual impossibility for the people due to palpable danger of abduction along most major roads.’’
“It is a matter of strategic imperative for us to give considerable attention to how to deal effectively with the problem and give our people a sense of sufficient and sustainable protection whenever they travel out”.
He further noted that the forum had resolved to checkmate the excesses of violent preachers so as to prevent the promotion of extremist ideology.
In a remark, the Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who noted the commitment of the forum to a peaceful and economically viable North East called for a robust plan for resettling all internally displaced persons.