President Buhari, who was in Jalingo, Taraba State yesterday, on a visit to assess the situation in the state as well as sympathise with victims of violence has disclosed the reason for his delayed visit to trouble spots in the country.
Buhari’s visit comes after reports which revealed that 200 people were killed in communal disputes, between Fulani herders and farmers in the state.
President Buhari has therefore appealed to all Nigerians to embrace peace and live together in harmony so that “there could be meaningful development and not destruction”,
According to him:
“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, sometimes 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.
Governor Darius Ishaku who received President Buhari as well as the Minister of Women Affairs Hajia Aisha Alhassan , Minister of Defence Manir Dan Ali; Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, some Service Chiefs and National Assembly members from the state, said the state was delighted to welcome the President in its trying time.
The governor noted that Taraba State was a “mini Nigeria”, with its over 80 ethnic groups and three religions to handle. “It is not easy to always balance things up here.”
Ishaku said the state was contending with a different breed of herdsmen who are militias who move around with AK 47 rifles to sniff out life out of anything blocking their way unlike the known herdsmen who had cohabited with the people for decades without skirmishes.
“The problem is never between the locals. 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.
Buhari’s visit to Taraba state is coming on the heels of strong condemnation by Nigerians after his refusal to visit the state but was able to make out time to attend the wedding of children of two serving governors.
Idris Ajimobi, the son of Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and Fatima Ganduje, the daughter of Kano State Governor Umar Ganduje tied the knot last Saturday and President Buhari as well as 22 serving governors were present at the wedding.
Amongst those who criticised the president were Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly who says he does not understand what President Muhammadu Buhari and 22 State Governors were doing at a wedding in Kano last weekend; Also was the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose who strongly frowned at the president’ action.