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President Muhammadu Buhari was in Jalingo, Taraba State on Monday where he assured the people that that the Federal Government will continue to strengthen relations with traditional institutions to find lasting solutions to the herdsmen and farmers crises.
The president 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.
A statement released by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President reports him saying:
“I am appealing to the traditional rulers not to give up in pursuing peace.’’
He also expressed his condolences to the people:
“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 praised his administration on securing the country claiming 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.
Speaking at the event, 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.
He also commended the Federal Government for the ongoing construction of the Mambila Power Plant, saying the completion of the project would greatly impact on the economy of the state, and the nation.
The traditional rulers and community leaders in their remarks noted that strict adherence to the rule of law and appropriate punishment for perpetrators of mayhem would reduce the violence that had claimed many lives.
The president has been accused by many critics of being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians caught-up in violence in different parts of the country especially those involving herdsmen and farmers. This is a claim which the government rejects claiming it is doing its best to end the violence and provide security for all Nigerians.