Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung has urged the people of Plateau state to pray for both President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Simon Lalong towards the 2019 general elections, enjoining them not to fall prey to deceitful politicians who will come around with peanuts to beg for their votes again, whereas they have not visited their constituencies since they were voted into office.
Dalung, who spoke on Saturday as Chairman protempore on the occasion of the 2018 Nzem Berom cultural celebration at Rwang Pam township stadium, Jos, said the celebration marked the present and the past cultures of African people, because before the advent of the Europeans, Africans had interfaith with God by way of traditional worship.
He added that the celebration of the event was the celebration for new season for the people to go to the farm to mark the raining season, observing that the Tarok and the Berom share common culture where they celebrate the coming of the rainy season to seek the face of God before entering into farming.
The Minister said the Berom are blessed people because crops grown in Europe are also grown in Berom land due to their favourable weather. He praised Lalong for the return of peace to the state, but urged government to go back to history because Plateau man had fought many wars before the coming of the Europeans.
He tasked the Berom to reposition the traditional institution towards ending the lingering crises being experienced in the state because the people are the custodians of the tradition.
He also critically noted that crises being constantly experienced in the state were due to over-crowding, over-concentration of local government staff in the state capital, suggesting that each local government member of staff should be sent back to the local government of origin to reduce the congestion and even the unrest being witnessed.
He urged the traditional institutions to play their role to ensure that peace and stability return to the local governments, states and the federation as a whole because they should provide useful information that will help in curtailing the excesses of killings of innocent Nigerians.
He suggested to Lalong to call all stakeholdersâ€™ meeting to discuss their agitations and problems, as not doing so would further stoke the internal wrangling.
Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District, Dr. Jonah David Jang who was given a special role on the occasion could not make it because of his arrest and detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
In his goodwill message which was attached to the programme of event, Jang said the remarkable cultural event afforded them the opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the people passed down from one generation to the next. He added that they are strategically blessed with land, rich in mineral resources and fertile for agriculture.
According to him, â€œas we look to maximise the full potential of these lands and the soothing weather we live under, we must do that with a measure of responsibility to the environment and ourselves as a people.
â€œThis is quite instructive at a time in our experience as citizens of Nigerian when the hope of a bountiful agricultural economy is daily threatened by persistent attacks on farmers by herdsmen.â€
Former Senate President, who was supposed to be the Chairman of the occasion, was unavoidably absent.