Buhari vows to end cycle of violence
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday restated his commitment to ending the cycle of violence in parts of the country.
He also enjoined traditional rulers to pick up the gauntlet of peace keeping.
Speaking at a Town Hall meeting in Jos, the President said: “I was in Taraba (state) earlier this week to see what is going on there. I was made to understand that the same people fighting themselves today have lived peacefully together for at least 300 years. And if that is the case, we have to trace where things went wrong so as to find the appropriate solution and restore peaceful coexistence that had been existing before now. This is where the traditional rulers are very key. We the politicians will soon go away, but the traditional rulers have been there and they still remain there till death.
“In Taraba, Benue, Plateau, the problem is the same, herdsmen, farmers clash and I think the solution will be the same, our traditional rulers should get down to work and find out what went wrong and why. We must just find solution to these clashes”
The President will today round off a two-day visit to Plateau State.
Yesterday he launched the Plateau State Roadmap to Peace and congratulated Governor Simon Lalong for uniting the people.
On arrival, he was received by government officials led by the governor and top politicians in the state who were united by the President’s visit.
He also visited the traditional ruler Gbon Gwong Jos Da Jacob Gyang Buba.
The President’s speech at the Town Hall meeting was disrupted many times by consistent clapping, said:
“I wish to encourage your Excellency to continue with the good work you are doing, and I wholeheartedly congratulate you for uniting the people of Plateau State.
“I am indeed quite impressed with gains and successes recorded in the area of conflict management and peace-building, which has returned this state to the path of relative peace.
“Let me express the Federal Government’s commitment to support and assist the Peace Building Agency in its effort to arrest the vicious cycle of violence and lay the foundation for sustainable peace in our country.”
“I am glad that the state government has fully keyed into the All Green Initiative and the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the Federal Government considering the strategic importance of agriculture to our national development. Equally commendable is Plateau State’s commitment to the African Development Bank-funded Potato Value Chain Support Project, which is targeted at wealth creation, employment generation and food security.”
President Buhari also commended Governor Simon Lalong for his achievements in the development of the state, ensuring regular payment of salaries and pensions, strides in the Agricultural sector and assured that the Federal Government will continue to work with Plateau State government.
“I need to commend the governor of Plateau state for embarking on infrastructural development in spite of lean resources at his disposal. Plateau state is the only state that is up to date in paymet of staff salaries and that is quite commendable.
When we came in in 2015, I discovered that most state governments were owing salaries for six, eight, ten months and even 12 months. I made efforts and make funds available the states so as to offset the backlog of salaries, but up till now that I’m talking to you some state governors are still owing their workers and I asked them how they find it comfortable to sleep when their workers are not paid and their families go to bed without food. I cannot imagine it. I have since instruct some of those governors to ensure the pay everything they are owing their workers.
The President also lauded Governor Lalong for continuing with the projects abandoned by previous administrations, noting that this has saved the state from white elephant projects and assured that the Federal Government will speed up refunds on Federal works executed by the state.
“I have noted the request for refund of funds expended on the rehabilitation of the Jos-Bukuru-Mararaba Jema’a Road which is a Federal road project and other interventions. Federal Government will expedite action towards the refund of verified claims by the Plateau State Government,” he said.
President Buhari also listed some of Federal Government intervention activities such as the construction of the Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambrar-Sara-Kai-Gindiri Road to Metropolitan Construction Company Ltd; Execution of TETFUND Projects; Bail-Out Funds; Paris Club Refunds and N-Power Scheme and assured that the request for dualization and construction of the road from Abuja to Jos will be put into consideration given its economic viability and status as gateway extending to the North East.
Responding to a request by the governor for the inclusion of more Plateau State indigenes in Federal appointments, President Buhari assured that, “the request will be looked into so as to reflect federal character in line with the Federal Government’s determination to address issues of marginalization in the spread of appointments and other privileges.”
He also reminisced on his time as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 3 Armoured Division Jos, recalling that it was from this position that he was summoned to become Head of State in January 1984.