President Muhammadu Buhari Monday appealed to all Nigerians to embrace peace and live together with one another in harmony so that “there could be meaningful development and not destruction.”
Buhari spoke in Jalingo -the Taraba State capital during a visit in the crisis-ridden State to console families who lost their loved ones and properties in waves of attacks.
The president said he has a way of getting intelligence on happenings across the country, so he should not be expected to always go out to war fields to make noise and insult the sensibility of Nigerians before it would be known that he was taking actions against killings and insecurity.
He was accompanied to Taraba by the ministers of Women Affairs, Defense, Information and Culture, member sof the National Assembly from Taraba and other Service Chiefs.
He was received by Governor Darius Ishaku, in company of the Speaker of the state Assembly and other top government functionaries, before having an interface with stakeholders from the crisis areas in Government House.
Buhari said he had chosen to visit Taraba first, before visiting Benue and Zamfara states, after his trip to Ghana, to also condole with the people of those states over their lost ones.
He noted there were more killings in Taraba, Benue and Zamfara than other places.
“I am here (Taraba) to meet with the leadership of the state, to offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones and properties in violence.
“People, sometime, expect me to rush out to the fields, 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 those areas.
“I will be going to Benue and Zamfara after I return from Ghana, to also condole with the people,” Buhari 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.
Governor Darius Ishaku said the state was delighted to welcome the President in its trying time.
The governor noted that Taraba state was a “mini Nigeria” as it has over 80 tribes and three religions to handle. “It is not easy to always balance things up here.”
Ishaku said the state was contending with a different specie and breed of herdsmen who are militias moving around with AK 47 riffles to remove anything in their way, unlike the known herdsmen who had cohabited with the people for decades without any serious skirmishes.
“The problem is never between the locals. Both the local Fulani and other tribes blend without issues.
“We have a new breed and specie of herdsmen militias who move around with sophisticated weapons; they are poised to remove anything in their track.
“They must be arrested now before it degenerates to something we can not contend with”, Ishaku said.
Opinion leaders from the warring tribes insisted justice and fairness must be seen taking course and the rule of law allowed to prevail for peace to return.