President Muhammadu Buhari has 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.
While 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 Nation Newspaper reports that, 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 pay,met 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 still owe 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 instructed some of those governors to ensure the pay everything they owe their workers.