The Arewa Consultation Forum (ACF) says Nigeria “can never survive” without the north.
Ibrahim Coomassie, chairman of the forum, said this on Tuesday when the Jammiyar Matan Arewa (JMA), a northern women group, visited the secretariat of the forum in Kaduna.
Coomassie said northern leaders need to work together to change the “negative narrative” portrayed about the region in over the years.
He said the north is faced with various challenges, with insecurity being the worst of them.
“We all know that without the north, Nigeria can never survive, the ACF chairman said, adding: “We still stand by it. But now is the time to walk the talk in the interest of our people.”
He condemned the recent abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state, by Boko Haram insurgents.
Coomassie, who is a former inspector-general of police, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to do all within his power to bring back the girls and also address the nation’s security challenges.
“Chibok girls are still missing. Now it has gone to Dapchi in Yobe state, what happened? Are we always going to be the victims?” he asked.
“See what Boko Haram did to the north-east. They have spread to the north-central and even to the southern part of the country. Should we continue to be regarded in the negative side? No. We are leaders in our own right and we must exercise this responsibility for our people.
“Enough is enough; enough of killings of our women and children; enough of the kidnapping of our daughters and enough of the destruction of our property. We are proud that you have come forward to meet us to discuss this issue.”