Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Nigerian liaison officer at the United Nations and governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Taraba State, Alhaji Aliyu Omar, has said that urgent steps must be taken to restore peace in the state before the situation deteriorated beyond control.
Omar said this, in Jalingo, on Thursday, during his official declaration of intent to run for the governorship of the state in the 2019 general elections.
Omar, who observed that Taraba State has a lot to benefit from its diverse ethno religious and cultural heritage regretted that the elite in the state have caused great divisions amongst the people for their selfish interest.
He said that it was time for the trend to be corrected urgently before the state becomes too polarised for any meaningful peace efforts to hold sway.
“We grew up here and there was no difference between Christian and Muslim children. There was no difference between a Jukun and a Mumuye child. We all played together and dreamt about greatness together.
“Today, that peace and unity has eluded us. We have allowed the elites to divide us along tribal and religious lines for their selfish interests.
“This has to stop now. We must come together as one and work for out common good or perish as a divided people.
“Our state is among the most blessed in the country and yet, we are among the least developed because we have not taken advantage of our strength which lies partly in our diversity.
“The time has come for all of us to rise up and say no to this divisive tendencies and unite to build a better and bigger state for our children. If we fail to do this now, it may become too late”, Omar said.
Speaking at the occasion, Alhaji Kabiru Jalo, said that the people of the state were desperate for a positive change and Omar’s wealth of experience, goodwill and general acceptability across ethnic and religious fences, fit the credentials of someone who can deliver the needed change
Omar who retired from the federal civil service in 2015 as Head of the Office of Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project in New York, is currently the liaison officer of the federal government of Nigeria at the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York.
He is vying for the APC governorship ticket against the minister of women Affairs senator Aisha Alhassan and several other aspirants.
Taraba State is greatly divided along ethnic and religious lines and has suffered several ethno religious crisis that have left the state grossly underdeveloped.