Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum Simon Lalong has urged African countries to close ranks and explore way of resolving conflicts and other challenges on the continent rather than visiting other continents for solutions.
Lalong, in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Simon Macham, said this in a dinner organised by the Kenyan Deputy President, William Ruto, in Nairobi when he visited Kenya for peer review of business opportunities.
Lalong said he was in Kenya on the instance of the invitation of Kenyan Council of Governors on behalf of the Northern Governors to build a develompental relationship.
“For a long time we have been ignoring the potentials within the continent and flying to other continents such as Europe, America, and China in search of solutions that could easily be obtained from sister countries in Africa who share similar characteristics with us,” the statement reads.
“Issues such as farming, conflicts resolution, cooperatives, small scale industries and value addition could easily be shared between us with more results than those from cultures and paradigms that are very distant from ours.”
He said Nigeria and Kenya share a very cordial relationship at the highest levels as demonstrated by Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Uhuru Kenyatta which could be further exploited with the relationship between Governors of the two countries.
Lalong appealed to the Deputy President Ruto to facilitate the acquisition of 2 Rhinos from Kenya for the Jos Wild Life Park in Plateau State in line with the request of the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army situated in Jos with Rhino as its symbol
Deputy President Ruto appreciated the visit of Governor Lalong to Kenya on behalf of the Northern Governors which he described as not only timely but a game changer in relations between the two countries.
He described as unfortunate the low volume on trade and person to person exchanges between Africans, which he said was undermining development and growth.
“There is an erroneous notion that when we talk about investment in Africa, it has to come from Europe, Asia, America or other parts of the world except the continent. It is only us that can solve our problems using solutions that are common to us. Your visit to our County Governors is the beginning of that exchange that we shall very soon see the benefits,” he said.
He promised to work with the Nigerian High Commission in Kenya towards facilitating the request of the Governor for 2 Rhinos, a process he says is cumbersome but not impossible.