Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has called on the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of Northern Nigeria (which includes the 19 Northern States and Abuja), Reverend Yakubu Pam, to extend his peace initiative in Southern Kaduna, to reconcile the Tivs of Benue State, with Jukuns in Taraba State.
Engineer Sule made the call while hosting Rev. Pam, who doubles as the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), at the Government House, on Monday.
The Governor specifically called on the Northern Nigeria CAN chairman, to convene a peace summit either in Benue or Taraba State, with a view to reconciling the warring Tiv and Jukun communities.
Engineer Sule offered to actively participate in the process in order to bring lasting peace to the two neighbouring states, which will in turn translate to peace in Nasarawa State.
While identifying peace as being vital to every aspect of development, the Governor emphasized that Nigeria and Nasarawa State, cannot afford not to have peace.
He said that explained the decision of his administration to make concerted effort to ensure lasting peace within the state and between neighbouring states.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity of the visit to commend Rev Pam on his recent peace initiative in Southern Kaduna, which has continued to witness incidences of banditry and communal clashes, stressing that he is willing to hold similar summit in Nasarawa State after that of either Benue or Taraba State.
The Governor however pleaded with the Northern Nigeria CAN Chairman, to seek to be part of those implementing the recommendations contained in the report from the peace summit in Southern Kaduna.
“Please Sir, it’s not just the report that you will hand over to Governor El-Rufai. Rather, the implementation of that report is more important than the report,” he stated.
Engineer Sule thereby impressed on Rev Pam on the need for him to continue with the process, so he can implement the recommendation, in order to bring enduring peace in Southern Kaduna.
On the CAN Chairman’s request for the government to sponsor more Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem, the Governor said Nasarawa will not perform less than last year, which earned the state recognition.
He showed appreciation to his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, for the wonderful job he did to sanitize the Christian pilgrimage, as well as ensure cordial relationship between the state chapter of CAN and the Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board.
On the partnership for agricultural training for farmers in Israel, the Governor expressed readiness to partner with NCPC for some farmers from the state to be trained in Israel.
In his opening remarks, the Northern Nigeria CAN Chairman, commended the courage demonstrated by Engineer Sule when he chose to complete projects initiated by his predecessors, describing the feat as unusual.
Rev. Pam equally commended the Governor who on his assumption into office, convened a stakeholders meeting, reached out to neighbouring states, with a view to enacting a roadmap for peace, knowing that peace is essential.
He said the purpose of the visit was to show appreciation to the Governor, for allocating the highest number of seats to Christian pilgrims last year.
Rev. Pam however appealed to the Governor to further increase the number of seats for Christian pilgrims from the state, as according to him, the pilgrims are going to the holy land to pray for Nigeria and Nasarawa State to have peace.
The NCPC Executive Secretary was accompanied on the visit by top officials from the commission, the Nasarawa State CAN Chairman, Bishop Joseph Masin, Executive Secretary of the state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. David Ayewa, among others.