President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday during his visit to Jalingo, Taraba State, said the Federal Government will continue to strengthen relations with traditional institutions in the country in order to find lasting solutions to the herdsmen and farmers crises.
President Buhari, accompanied by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, had an interactive forum with traditional rulers, community leaders,representatives of farmers and herdsmen and government officials in the state. The President said the ongoing efforts to restore peace would require the full support and commitment of all traditional institutions, especially in appealing to their followers to respect the dignity of life.
“I am appealing to the traditional rulers not to give up in pursuing peace,’’ he said.
President Buhari told the royal fathers and leaders that the government was fully committed to resolving the crises between herdsmen and farmers, and would be counting on their structures, good will and experience in promoting harmony.
He warned that all the perpetrators of violence in the country would be investigated and prosecuted, while condoling all the families that lost loved ones in the mayhems.
“I came here mainly to have this forum with leaders, traditional rulers and the government to extend my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and properties,’’ he added.
President Buhari said the government had been focused on securing the country since assumption of office, adding that “the worst critics of APC will agree that we have tried in improving the security situation in the country, right from the period of rising Boko Haram attacks. The country has to be secured before you can manage the economy,’’ he added.
In his remarks, Governor Ishaku said he inherited a state that was deeply divided along ethnic and tribal lines, noting that his government, working with security agencies, had been working hard to reconcile the different groups. Ishaku said the state had more than 80 ethnic groups.
The governor commended the Federal Government for the ongoing construction of the Mambila Power Plant,which would greatly change the livelihood of the people. In their various remarks, the traditional rulers and community leaders said a strict adherence to the rule of law in the state would reduce the violence that had already claimed many lives.