From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor of Gombe state, Inuwa Yahaya has condemned the reprisal attacks that followed the recent happenings in Jos, Plateau State where some travelers were killed, urging people to remain calm and desist from making reprisals.
He said his people in Gombe are united in the determination to ward off religious and ethnic differences to sustain the existing relative peace amidst current insecurity in the northeast region of the country especially in frontline states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
He said this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, after he met with the Chief of Staff to the President.
Yahaya said: “We thank God for helping us as far as the issue of security is concerned. We are in the midst of the North-East and we are aware of the challenges in the frontline States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are facing so we’ve tried as much as possible in order to live in peace and harmony.
“This is despite our differences; religious difference, social difference and other social differences that normally cause friction among the people and we have gotten the understanding of our people and with the support of the security agencies, we’ve been able to relate well and manage security in Gombe State. We are happy and by the grace of God we shall try to sustain that going forward.”
Speaking on what his administration did to forestall reprisals, he said. “All stakeholders, the traditional institutions, schools and agencies that have to manage a number of people were called for a meeting at the Government House where we briefed and advised them not to make reprisal attacks.
“Besides that, we’ve been relating with the religious authorities so that we don’t have reprisal atatcks either from the Christian or Muslim sides. Mind you, a lot of families in Gombe are both Muslims and Christians and that relationship transcends current issues that are causing tension and I think we have been able to manage the matter and people are cooperating and we will continue to do that.
“We have security management committees in place, comprising traditional rulers, from the ward, to districts, emirates and chiefdoms, up to the State level. Therefore, we share information and manage whatever decision we take and whenever there is an issue, we nip it in the bud without allowing it to get to an alarming state or level,” he explained.
On how the state is managing COVID-19 and the outbreak of cholera, Yahaya said the State is in close contact with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Gombe has been very proactive and we have been relating with the NCDC from day one. As at 20th March 2020 we had already set up a task force that has been managing COVID with very competent hands led by Prof. Idris Mohammed who is an authority in virology and epidemiology. So with that we have been able to manage the disease. As for cholera, Gombe is among the states that witnessed an upsurge recently but we’ve kept the numbers low because with instant reaction we were able to control its spread and now Gombe is out of that issue.”
On the recent award on medium and small scale enterprises where the state carted home a national award recently, the Governor said the State would continue to support the business and other sectors.
“We realized that for business to thrive, you must facilitate and give adequate support in all aspects, be it security, healthcare, education, skills and trade development, which our people had since keyed into. Being a peasant farmers state, we have encouraged our people to indulge in agro entrepreneurship and processing of agricultural produce. That is why there are a lot of business activities and little wonder we’ve gotten to the top as number one because of all those aspects that we have been able to take care of.”
Furthermore, he said procurement processes have been completed for Gombe Ultramodern Industrial Park and the project will be awarded at the end of this month, adding that the project, covering 347 hectares of land will cost N17 billion.
On current happening in the national body of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Yahaya said:
“I don’t believe our party is in crisis. Politics like every other human endeavor has a lot of ups and downs and I think the caretaker committee is managing the party effectively and efficiently.”