Bayo Oyewale, Lokoja
As part of efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Kogi, the State governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello has charged the people of the state to always embrace dialogue and high level of understanding to live peace and harmony with one another.
Governor Bello who gave the charge in Lokoja yesterday during a security summit for stakeholders in the state, stressing that through dialogue the government and its citizens can collectively achieve the desired goals, warning that the use of foul language should always be avoided as it can only cause more harm to the people than good.
The governor noted that Kogi state supposes to be an epitome of peace in the country , pointing out that nobody in Nigeria has the monopoly of sending away or preventing anyone from doing business in many parts of the country.
“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 get it right in all its agenda, the glory will go to the people”
In his address, the Special Adviser to the state Governor on security, Navy Commander Jerry Omadara (rtd), described the security summit as another opportunity for the state to chart a way forward in sustaining the existing peace in Kogi state.
Omadara urged the Fulanis 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.
The Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Edward Onoja while presenting the Framework for security resolution, opined that there must be a paradigm shift in the ways and manner people handle issues of security in the state.
Onoja stressed the need to always discuss and dialogue so as to safeguard human life, lamenting that the wanton loss of lives and property in some states as a result of herdsmen and farmers clashes is not healthy for the country.
He commended governor Bello who within 24 months in the saddle of the leadership of the state was able to bring the rising insecurity in the state to the barest minimum.
Also speaking, the National Organising Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle rearers, Alhaji Aliu Saleh assured the governor that the leadership of the Fulanis in the state will ensure that they live and do their businesses in harmony with the communities where they live.
Saleh urged the state government to establish peace committees at the 21 local government areas of the state to tackle any issue before it escalates to crises.
In his remark, the Kogi state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop John Iben , opined that certain comments from the press are most unhelpful, calling on the government to compensate landowners whose land may be taken for the proposed cattle ranches.
The Onu of Ibaji , Chief John Egwemi in his speech commended the governor for restoring peace during the boundary crises between Aguleri in Anambra state and the people of Ibaji,
Chief Egwemi who represented the Attah Igala , His Royal Majesty Dr Michael Ameh Oboni II, noted that the people are going to live and do their legitimate businesses in peace with the Fulanis and other settlers.
In his goodwill message the Chairman of Kogi State Security Trust Fund, Mr Isiaka Oyibo charged the state government to form a joint cooperative society for herdsmen and farmers that would reflect Kogi character to foster unity among them.
Oyibo also urged the state governor to encourage youth through massive empowerment to discourage youth restiveness and idle mind.
At the end of the summit, the stakeholders resolved to live harmoniously with one another for the growth and development of the state.