Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has been elected Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.
The Forum comprises governors of the 19 northern states.
Shettima replaces the outgoing Governor of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida, whose tenure ends this month.
The Kano State governor-elect and current deputy governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, also emerged as the vice chairman of the forum.
This decision was reached at the end of a meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum held at the Niger State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja o Monday.
The forum also agreed to wade into the crisis in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum by uniting the two factions.
Speaking after the closed door meeting, the Niger State governor said his colleagues were determined to mediate in order to unite governors across party lines for the development of the nation.
Aliyu said, “The goal is to mediate and unite the Nigerian Governors’ Forum that has been fragmented in the past few years”.
He noted that the northern governors resolved among other things, to address the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, tackle the problems of poverty, marginalization and unemployment.
He further disclosed that the forum was also working with the office of the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, to revive some companies in the North.
In his acceptance speech, Shettima assured northerners that under his leadership, the governors would present a more united front in the war against the Boko Haram sect.
He also promised to work together with his colleagues irrespective of religious, ethnic or political affiliation, to confront the challenges bedeviling the North.
Those who attended the meeting include Governors Ibrahim Dakwambo, Gombe; Bala Ngilari, Adamawa; Muktar Yero, Kaduna; Aliyu Babangida, Niger; Gabriel Suswam, Benue; Ahmed Abdulfatah, Kwara; Shettima, Borno; Abdul’aziz Yari, Zamfara; and Isa Yuguda, Bauchi.
The governors of Kano and Kogi States were represented at the meeting by their deputies, Abdullahi Ganduje and Yomi Awoniyi respectively.
The new leadership is to be inaugurated either in June or July, with all former governors of northern extraction expected to be in attendance.