Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja pledged the federal government’s support towards Plateau State government’s efforts to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and tolerant society.
The president who made the pledge in the State House while receiving a group of stakeholders from Plateau State led by Governor Simon Lalong, appealed to residents and indigenes of the state to support the governor’s development agenda.
‘‘Plateau is strategic to Nigeria. It is geographically unique with its diverse environmental and huge economic potential. This clearly shows the state’s incredible potential in tourism, agriculture and mining. ‘‘It is, therefore, our collective duty to ensure these potentials are fully harnessed by providing the right policy support,’’ the President said.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari told the delegation that he was very pleased with the progress made on security, provision of social services and infrastructure development by the government of Lalong.
‘‘These are the critical pillars of having a prosperous and inclusive society. I will, therefore, take this opportunity to urge all citizens of Plateau to encourage and support your government in delivering on its mandate,’’ he said. The statement said the president also assured the delegation that the federal government would consider the requests of the delegation including the dualisation and construction of some federal roads in Plateau State, upgrade of the Potato Research Centre to a full-fledged institute, a special grant for reconstruction and rehabilitation of victims of attacks and crises, among others.
It also said Lalong, in his remarks, expressed deep gratitude to the president on his unflinching support to the state, saying ‘‘you have shown that, indeed, you are a father to all and a true leader whose passion for development and peace is unquestionable.’’
It also said the governor appealed to the government of Buhari to refund outstanding monies expended on the construction of some federal roads and also called for the establishment of a federal polytechnic in the state as well as the upgrading of the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences to the University of Mining.
Adesina said Lalong also spoke on security in the state, saying even though his administration had made tremendous efforts in building institutional and legal framework in engendering peace and security in the last four years, yet “in the last two months, we recorded two incidents of killings in Kulben, Mangu Local Government Area and Kwatas in Bokkos Local Government Area where lives were lost, property destroyed and people displaced.”
He, however, told Buhari that some arrests had been made and investigations are still ongoing, assuring that the state government was ‘‘determined to get to the bottom of this in order to affirm the message that criminals cannot take us back to the days of agony.’’