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I’ll end farmers, herders clashes ― Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday received a delegation of Nasarawa State leaders that paid him a thank-you visit, assuring that his administration was determined to find a lasting solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.

Speaking during the event at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja, the President observed that Nasarawa State has supported his administration from his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) days.

He recalled that Nasarawa was the only state that produced a governor under the defunct CPC as he promised to remain focused in his determination to make life better for the citizenry.

The President said: “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.

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“Today, our political movement is now in government at the centre. We have won majority states, we have a majority in the National Assembly, we must, therefore, show gratitude to Almighty God for all the blessings.

“As a government, the responsibility for 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 hear 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.”

President Buhari praised the steadfastness, commitment and what he said was the enormous hard work of the former governor of Nasarawa state senator Tanko Almakura, who he said identified with his project.

He added: “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 the 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 solicit the support of all states to align with those four pillars. We must all have a collective vision for sustainable development.

“I feel highly honoured that you have proposed to name an academic institution in my name. I will make consultations and revert to you in due course.”

In his remark earlier, leader of the delegation and governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule thanked the President for appointing Nasarawa citizens in the 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 the election in 2011.

“It is a state where we have immortalised 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.”

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