President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday visited Jalingo, the Taraba state capital to condole with the government and people of the state over the loss of lives in crises across the state.
The President arrived at the Jalingo airport around 4pm in company of the ministers of Women Affairs, Defense, Information and Culture, Members of the National Assembly from the state and other Service Chiefs and was received by the state Governor, Darius Ishaku in company of the Speaker of the state Assembly and other top government functionaries, and headed straight for the Exco Chambers of the Government House where he discussed with stakeholders from the crises areas and top government officials.
Buhari said that his visit was only to condole with the families who lost loved ones and property to the crises and to urge the people to embrace peace so that there could be meaningful development.
“I came here to meet with the leadership of the state to express my condolences to those who lost loved ones and property in the crisis”.
“I can only appeal to the conscience of the people for them to embrace peace and live with one another in harmony so that there could be development and not destruction“, Buhari said.
The President said he has a way of getting intelligence on happening across the country and so he should not be expected to always to go out to the field to make noise and insult the sensibility of Nigerians before it would be known that he was taking actions against the killings.
He said he chose to visit Taraba first but would be visiting Benue and Zamfara states after his trip to Ghana to also condole with the people of the states over their loses, stressing that there were more killings in Mambilla, Benue, and Zamfara than other places.
“People sometimes expect me to rush out to the field to go and make noise but I have my ways of gathering intelligence. I get to know what is happening across the country without necessarily going to these places. I will be going to Benue and Zamfara after I return from Ghana to also condole with the people. There are more killings in Mambilla and Benue and Zamfara”, he said.
He called on traditional rulers in the state to step up activities in their various Chiefdoms to foster peaceful coexistence among their subjects and to remain vigilante at all times. Earlier, the state Governor Darius Ishaku said that the state was delighted to welcome the President in its trying time.
Ishaku said that Taraba state was “a mini Nigeria as we have over 80 tribes and three religions to handle and so it is not easy to always balance things up”.
The governor said that the state was contending with a different specie and breed of herdsmen who are militias moving around with AK 47s to remove anything in their way, unlike the known herdsmen who had cohabited with the people for decades without any serious crisis.
“The problem is never between the locals as both the local Fulani and other tribes blend without issues. We have a new breed and species of herdsmen militias who move around with sophisticated weapons to move anything from their way. These must be arrested now before it degenerates into something we can not contend with”, Gov Ishaku said.
Stakeholders from all the warring tribes insisted that justice and fairness must be seen taking its course and the rule of law allowed to prevail for any meaningful peace to return to the warring areas.