Abuja – Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue says he will not identify with Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) unless the leadership and some of the members purge themselves of betrayal of confidence.
Suswam made this known when he spoke to State House Correspondents shortly after a closed door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said he came to brief Jonathan on the efforts made to resolve the recurring clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa State.
“I won’t say that I vowed not to return to the forum, I will better say that I have issues with the way things are going.
“I believe that as a Northerner, and as one of the present leaders, we should as leaders be able to have confidence and have integrity enough for us to take a decision and follow it through.
“And if is established that we can now jointly and collectively take a decision on behalf of the North and also on behalf of this country and stand by that decision, then I will have no problem.
“But for now, I have an issue and that issue to me is germane and as far as I am not satisfied that that issue had been addressed, I maintain my position,’’ he said.
He said that as long as the issues linger in the forum, he would not be part of the group until he was satisfied that collective decisions were not changed arbitrarily.
Suswam withheld his membership of NSGF following the failure of its chairman to present Gov. Jonah Jang as the consensus candidate of Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
Gov Babangida Aliyu of Niger had backed the election reportedly held by the NGF, in which Gov. Rotmi Amaechi of Rivers, emerged winner.
On his meeting with the president, Suswam said it was meant to address the incessant clashes between the farmers and the Fulani nomads.
He said he came to update the president on the resolutions and the actions so far taken to curb the attacks and also solicit for supports of the Federal Government.
Suswam said that a 14-member committee comprising of seven members each from both states had been constituted on the issue.
“We resolved to set up the committees at the local governments that share borders both in Nasarawa and Benue.
The governor said the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers were excited about the development.