Farmers and herders in Kogi State have agreed to live in peace and work for the development of the state.
They reached the accord at a security summit organised by the state government.
At the event, Governor Yahaya Bello charged the people of the state to always embrace dialogue and understanding in order to “live peacefully and harmoniously with one another for the purpose of peace.”
Governor Bello maintained at the security summit for stakeholders in Lokoja on Tuesday that through dialogue the government and its citizens can collectively achieve the desired goals and warned that the use of hate speeches or foul language should always be avoided as it can only cause more harm to the people than good.
He said that Kogi State ought to be an epitome of peace in the country, stressing that nobody in Nigeria has the monopoly of sending away or preventing any one from doing business in any part of the country.
Governor Bello said: “I am appealing to the people of the state irrespective of their tribes and religion to tolerate one another in order to live a peaceful life where business will continue to thrive. If the government gets it right in its agenda, the glory will go to the people.”
In his address, Jerry Omadara, a retired Navy Commander and special ddviser to the governor on security, described the summit as another opportunity for the state to chart the way forward in sustaining the existing peace in the state.
Omadara urged the Fulani resident in the state to check themselves and fish out the bad eggs among them, adding that without peace there can never be a robust economic growth in the state.
Edward Onoja, chief of staff to the governor, who presented the framework for security resolution, said that there must be a paradigm shift in the ways and manner people handle secuirty issues in the state.
Onoja stressed the need for the people to always dialogue so as to safeguard life and property, lamenting that the wanton loss of destruction in some states as a result of herdsmen and farmers clashes was not healthy for the country.
He commended Governor Bello who within 24 months in the saddle of leadership of the state was able to bring the rising insecurity in the state to the barest minimum.
Alhaji Aliu Saleh, national organizing secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers, assured the governor that the leadership of the Fulani in the state would ensure that they live and do their businesses in harmony with their host communities.
Bishop John Ibenu, Kogi State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, said that certain comments from the press are most unhelpful and urged the government to compensate land owners whose land may be taken for the proposed cattle ranches.
Chief John Egwemi, the Onu of Ibaji,commended the governor for restoring peace during the boundary crisis between Aguleri in Anambra state and the people of Ibaji,
Egwemi, who represented the Attah Igala, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Michael Ameh Oboni II, promised that the people would live and do legitimate businesses in peace with the Fulani and other settlers.
In his goodwill message, Mr. Isiaka Oyibo, chairman of Kogi State security trust fund, , asked the state government to form joint cooperative society for herdsmen and farmers that would reflect the Kogi character to foster unity among them.
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