Prominent leaders from the North-Central geopolitical zone has announced their exit from the Arewa Consultative Forum, citing the worsening security situation in the northern part of Nigeria as reason.
They subsequently announced the formation of the North Central Peoples Forum as a platform to fight insecurity and marginalization in the region.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, the group said in spite of the abundant mineral and human resources in the zone, the North-Central has been bedeviled by vices, like kidnapping, banditry and other forms of criminality.
The ACF currently has as its Chairman, the immediate-past Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who is from the North Central zone.
The new North-Central group is being led by a former Minister of State for Health, Gabriel Aduku, who is the interim chairman.
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Jerry Useni; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu; former Military Administrator of Kwara State, Col. David Bamigboye (retd.); and former deputy chief of staff to the President, Chief Olusola Akomode, were also listed as members.
The list also included the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah; former Nigeria Ambassador to South Africa, Ahmed Ibeto; a media consultant, Alhaji Tajudeen Kareem; former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Stephen Lawani and Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, among others.
Useni told journalists that the existence of similar groups in other parts of the country had given rise to group affinity and solidarity among the states in a particular geopolitical zone to canvass things of common interest.
He expressed confidence that the forum would unite the people of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory in their quest to ensure that peace and stability was established and sustained within the zone.
He added that the forum would pursue rapid industrialization across all nooks and crannies of the zone.
He said the group would pursue policies and process that would ensure that the massive solid mineral and agricultural endowments were adequately harnessed.