by Augustine Ehikioya
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday vowed to end farmers/herders clashes in the country.
He gave the assurance while receiving Nasarawa State delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The delegation was led by the state governor, Abdullahi Sule.
The President noted that Nasarawa state has been supporting him right from the time he was in Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the only state that produced a governor under the party platform then.
He promised to remain focused in his determination to make life better for the citizenry.
He said,” In the next four years I want to assure you that we will remain committed to the change agenda. Our goal of building an inclusive, secure and prosperous Nigeria is achievable. However, the federal government cannot do it alone. We need the full cooperation and support of states, local governments as well as traditional and religious leaders.
“I must commend you the Nasarawa elders and leaders for maintaining peace within the state. In the last four years, you collectively put aside your political, religious and ethnic differences for the interest of stability and prosperity. We must continue to preach peace and understanding in your various community.
“The incessant conflicts between herders and farmers are age long problem, this administration is determined to find lasting solutions. I implore all leaders of opinion to help maintain peace while we are putting in place policies and permanent solutions.
“Just last week, I inaugurated the national economic council during that meeting, I emphasized the need to invest in education, primary health care, agriculture and security as foundations for sustainable progress.
“I want to use this forum to again solicite the support of all states to align with those four pillars. We must all have a collective vision for sustainable development.” he said
According to him, “Nasarawa state and its citizens have always been dear to me. Our political journey started a long time ago, in good times and in difficult times and I could always account on your support.
“You are the first and only state to elect a governor under CPC and resisted all the riggings of the power that be at the time. I can never forget your commitment and your love for me from the moment I entered partisan politics.
“Today, our political movement is now in government at the center. We have won majority states, we have majority in National Assembly, we must therefore show gratitude to almighty God for all the blessings.
“As a government, the responsibility on us is enormous. In the last four years we have focused on enhancing security, inclusive economic empowerment and fighting corruption. In all these areas we have made progress despite the significant challenges we faced.
“I am pleased to here that there is a federal government project in Nasarawa state that is impacting on your citizens. I will like to congratulate the governor, deputy governor and all the newly elected officials from Nasarawa state on your victory in the polls including of course, Senator Almakura.”
He commended the steadfastness, commitment and the enormous hardwork of the former governor of Nasarawa state senator Tanko Almakure, who he said identified with his project.
He added “I feel highly honored that you have proposed to name an academic institution in my name. I will make consultations and revert to you in due course.”
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation and governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule thanked the President for appointing Nasarawa citizens in position of authority especially the Inspector – General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu and the Director – General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim among others.
He said, “First and foremost, we thank God for giving us the opportunity to see the President and see him in good health. When we saw the President, we were happy he was actually growing stronger and in good spirit.
“Secondly, Nasarawa State has become President Buhari’s laboratory when it comes to politics; the only state where his party won election in 2011.
“It is a state where we have immortalized the President by naming some of higher institutions of repute after him; the state where we have benefited a lot.
“So, we came to thank him for appointing some of our sons; the Inspector-General of Police is a son of Nasarawa State; the DG, NYSC is a son of Nasarawa State; we express our appreciation to him for doing that.
“In addition, all the other things he has done for Nasarawa State; dualisation of some of our roads, building some of the institutions we are seeing for the Federal Government and appointing some many other sons and daughters of Nasarawa State here at the Federal agencies. So, these are the reasons why we are here.
“Nasarawa State is taking the issue of security very seriously; we know that the President is after the security of this country; we look at tackling security through agriculture; first and foremost, there is what is called Ruga project by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; so Nasarawa State is one of few states that will start that programme where we are going to deploy a lot of people and we will separate the herders from farmers so that they can be in separate areas.
“There are some many intervention funds; mainly for agriculture to employ the youths and promote agriculture; so we are embracing each one of them, but we are coming up with a Bill where we are involving our traditional rulers; to part and parcel of security of their various domains.”
Also speaking, the immediate former governor, Senator Tanko Al-Makura said that the visit was to thank the President for having faith in the sons and daughters of Nasarawa State; especially with the appointment of the IGP and the appointment of the Director-General of NYSC.
“We have faith in the President just as he has faith in us,” he said.
Senator Al-Makura further said, “This is reassuring the president of our commitment and loyalty towards him and his administration and also support him in his security and peace initiative to ensure that Nasarawa State will continue to maintain its own security and peace status so that Nigeria can be a good place for all of us.
“Besides that, you can see smile on the faces of the people of Nasarawa State; it reminds us with nostalgia, when in 2010, only Nasarawa State produced the only governor the President wanted and by the special grace of God, this commitment and loyalty of all the people of Nasarawa State is irrevocable.”