By Lawrence Audu
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in 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, security chiefs and some top 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.
The President warned that all the perpetrators of violence in the country would be investigated and prosecuted, while condoling the families that lost loved ones in the mayhems.
“I came here mainly to have this forum with leaders, traditional rulers and the state government to extend my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and properties,’’ he said.
President Buhari said his administration had 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 Boko Haram attacks.’’
“The country has to be secured before you can manage the economy,’’ the President noted.
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.
The governor, who commended the Federal Government for the ongoing construction of the Mambila Power Plant, said the completion of the project would greatly impact on the economy of the state, and the nation.
In their various remarks, the traditional rulers and community leaders said a strict adherence to the rule of law and appropriate punishment for perpetrators of mayhem would reduce the violence that had claimed many lives.