President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the cessation of the cycle of violence that has engulfed Benue, Plateau and Taraba states.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to arrest the cycle of violence in parts of the country.
The president made this call in Jos when he launched the Plateau State Roadmap to Peace and Development which is aimed at putting an end to the cycle of violence in Plateau State and other states of the federation.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that these states are embroiled in bloody clashes involving herders, farmers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers and other bandits, which have left thousands dead and many more displaced from their homes and livelihoods.
The president, while speaking at the town hall meeting with Plateau stakeholders at Government House in Jos, yesterday, described the Plateau Roadmap to Peace as packaged by the State Peace Development Agency as a welcome development that should be copied by other states of the federation, stressing that his administration would give the agency support.
Buhari appreciated Lalong for establishing Plateau Peace Building Agency as an institutional framework for the attainment of lasting peace in the state.
He 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 the 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.”
He further commended Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong for ensuring continuity of government and for his effort to complete abandoned projects left behind by his predecessors, saying he was impressed by the governor’s remarkable achievements in the area of infrastructural development.
The president also praised the governor for his prompt payment of workers’ salary, pointing out that he was unlike other state governors who are defaulting in salary payment despite the bailout funds released to them.
On the request for Plateau State to be included in the North East Development Commission and refund of money for the dualisation of federal roads in the state, he promised to look into the matter as soon as verifications were completed.
Buhari noted that when he came on board in 2015, he took decision to embark on tour of neighbouring countries to find a way of checking the activities of insurgents that participated in the Libya war.
According to him, the ongoing clashes between herders and farmers in Taraba, Benue and Adamawa states, among others, might have arisen from the activities of these ex-combatants that had infiltrated Nigeria, even as he gave assurance that his government was making spirited efforts to proffer solutions to the conflict ravaging parts of the country.
President Buhari also promised to look into the request by Plateau women and youths for more federal appointments.
According to Buhari, it was from Jos at 3rd Armored Division of the Nigerian Army that he was moved to Lagos after late December 1983 to become Military Head of State and expressed happiness that Jos, the Plateau state capital, has grown from one lane road to dual carriage way in recent times.
In his response, the Plateau State governor commended the president for rising up to the challenge by setting up the Vice President Osinbajo 10-member Working Committee on Farmers/Herdsmen Conflicts in order to find a lasting solution to the age-old crisis.
He also requested the president to consider constructing some economically important amenities in Plateau.
Lalong said, “As gateway to the North East, we wish to request for dualisation and construction of the road from Abuja to Jos, given the economic viability and conveniences.
“In fact, being a gateway to the federal capital from both the North-West axis of Kano and Jigawa as well as the entire North-East, which even extends to the South-East and South-South, the traffic density is high. Executing this project will massively ease the movement of goods and complement the presence and vast potential of the dry Inland Container Depot at Heipang.
“A very critical area of request for synergy and intervention is the imperative for a major Trauma Services and Centre along the Hawan Kibo area being envisaged by my administration. It is our desire to upgrade the Riyom General Hospital to Trauma Centre. Hawan Kibo, so named with reference to the steep hills, is an axis of Federal Road but a black spot that has unenviable reputation for frequent road accidents, claiming the lives of many citizens.
“The casualties are due to lack of facilities and untimely intervention in handling critical injuries, which are life-threatening. Such major trauma centres are usually set up to provide specialised trauma care and rehabilitation. Presently, there is only one major centre in Nigeria located at the National Hospital, Abuja.”
Insurgency Ravaged States Know There’s Progress In Anti-terror War – PMB
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja, said Nigerians in the areas affected by Boko Haram insurgency are in the best position to provide correct assessment of the changes that have taken place since he assumed office in 2015.
Receiving a delegation from King Salman of Saudi Arabia at the presidential villa, Abuja, President Buhari, in a statement by his senior special assistant on media, Garba Shehu, said his administration was mindful of the three promises made to Nigerians before the 2015 elections, assuring that he remained focused on securing the life and property of all Nigerians.
“From the very time we came until now, we have been able to do our best, and we remain focused on delivering on our promises,’’ he said.
President Buhari told the Saudi Arabian delegation that the priority of his administration had so far been on securing the country, buoying the economy and curbing corruption so that Nigerians would start benefitting from the rich natural and human resources of the country.
The president thanked the King Salman Aid and Relief Centre and the Saudi Development Fund for providing relief materials worth $10 million to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.
The minister of defence, Mohammed Dan-Ali, noted that the Saudi delegation had already visited the Ministry of Defence, Defence Headquarters and taken a tour of IDP camps in Maiduguri as part of its schedule.
The leader of the Saudi delegation, King Salman, Nasser Bin Mutlaq, said the visit and the donation of materials was an extension of the good relations both countries had shared over the years.
“We are directed to offer materials and food for the displaced persons in the North East worth $10 million. We have had a field visit to the places and seen the humanitarian situation ourselves,’’ he added.
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