President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged victims of herdsmen attacks not to engage in reprisals.
He reassured the people of the Northcentral, who are mostly at the receiving end of the attacks, that his administration would not tolerate such barbaric acts.
The President spoke while commissioning the Comprehensive Special School, Lafia, Nasarawa State.
He plans to visit other states where herdsmen-farmers clashes have led to many deaths. Buhari will be in Taraba, Zamfara and Benue, but no dates have been set for the trips.
Buhari said that the Federal Government was working hard to ensure that peace and stability returned to the region.
According to him, additional resources have been deployed to end the crisis and maintain law and order.
The President said: “I also want to assure the people of the Northcentral and indeed all Nigerians that the Federal Government is working day night to ensure that peace and stability return.
“We have deployed additional resources to all the affected areas to maintain law and order.
“The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated.
“I appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from reprisal attacks. The security agencies have standing order to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms.
“I will, once again, express my condolences and sympathy to all the affected victims of these barbaric acts.”
He pledge that the change mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would continue to be the basis for solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to stress that the Change philosophy which precipitated the APC Government will continue to idealise and identify issues that are critical to our socio-economic development with a view to proffering lasting solutions to them.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we would intensify our commitment towards the realisation of the cardinal objectives of this Administration anchored on securing lives and property, curbing corruption and ensuring economic growth through diversification.”
The President noted that the people of Nasarawa have always been with the Change movement, since the early days of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) through APC.
He said: “In 2011, the people of Nasarawa decided to vote for Change, voted for the CPC in order to have a government for the people, and in 2015 they voted for continuity.
“Today, I am obliged to reiterate Governor Al-Makura’s proclamation that, indeed, Nasarawa State is my political home.
“Since the inauguration of His Excellency Umar Tanko Al-Makura as the Governor of Nasarawa State in May, 2011; the occasion which I attended personally, I have been following the trend of events in the state and the reports I receive are that of execution of many projects.
“Accordingly, during my campaign visit to Nasarawa State in 2015, I noticed the transformation within Lafia metropolis.”
Other projects the President commissioned included the Electronic Library, a Fire Service facility and a township road, a model primary health care centre and the Karu International Market.
Noting that “this is the Change people of Nasarawa voted for,”’ Buhari said: “I must add that these projects, I believe, were executed owing largely to the frugality of Governor Al-Makura in the management of the meagre resources at the disposal of the administration in the state.”
Pleased with the launch of the pilot scheme of the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) National Programme at Kwandare, Lafia Local Government Area, the President directed the Federal Ministry of Health to synergise with other states to roll out the programme to enable the less privileged and rural dwellers have access to health services.
He assured the state that all ongoing federal strategic projects, especially the power transmission sub-stations and roads, would be completed to further enhance the socio-economic development of Nasarawa State and the Northcentral.
Speaking earlier during a courtesy call on the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustafa Agwai, the President said he was honoured to visit the state for the first time since he assumed office.
He said: “I am very pleased to honour this invitation which your governor booked as soon as I was sworn in as the President.
“I tried to remain within the castle called Aso Villa but I had to break out and come in order to honour this invitation which has been outstanding for so long.”
Governor Al-Makura urged the Federal Government to take over the construction of the Keffi-Lafia-Vaji road, which will reduce Lafia – Abuja travel time to one hour from three hours.
He described Nasarawa as the “political laboratory” of President Buhari as it was the only state won by the defunct CPC founded by the president.
He said the state had adopted the President’s Change template to ensure the best practices which will bring development to the people especially the downtrodden.