Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, assured Nigerians that his administration is determined to find lasting solution to incessant herders/farmers clashes in the country.
Buhari gave the assurance when he met with a special delegation from Nasarawa State, led by Governor Abdullahi Sule, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.
The president said: “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 communities.
“The incessant conflicts between herders and farmers is an age-long problem (and) 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.”
The president, who noted that the responsibility on government is enormous, and “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 residents. I will like to congratulate the governor, deputy governor and all the newly-elected officials from Nasarawa, on your victory at the polls, including, of course, Senator (Tanko) Al-makura.
“I must commend the steadfastness, commitment and the enormous hard work of Al-makura, who identified with our project from the get go. I wish him well in his new assignment.
“In the next four years, I want to assure you that we will remain committed to the Change Agenda. Our goal of building 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.
Earlier, the governor, in his remarks, explained that the delegation came to thank the president for appointing their sons, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim into top government positions.
Governor Sule reiterated that the delegation, made up of the former governor, traditional rulers, former ambassadors, ministers and permanent secretaries from the state, came to thank Buhari for dualising some of their roads, building some of the institutions and appointing so many sons and daughters of state into Federal agencies.
He said: “Nasarawa state is taking the issue of security very seriously. We know that the president is after the security of this country.
“We are looking at tackling security through agriculture. First and foremost, there is what is called Ruga project by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; so, Nasarawa is one of few states that will start that programme, where we will 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 be part and parcel of security in their various domains.”