From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
As part of moves to put an end to killings and achieve permanent peace in Plateau State, the governor, Simon Lalong, has urged farmers and herders to forgive one another for peace to reign in the state.
Lalong, who said he has made security of lives and properties topmost priority since he became governor in 2015, said he regretted that lack of forgiveness between farmers and herders has continued to frustrate all peace efforts of his government.
The governor stated this in his remarks during the 2nd Forgiveness and Reconciliation Day organised to entrench peaceful coexistence in the state.
“For us in Plateau State, the desire to provide a leadership that inspires confidence and motivates the people to work towards peaceful coexistence and development has been our focus since the inception of our rescue administration in 2015.” He, however, said, “This is not to suggest that people should pretend that bad things did not happen, or that people are still not living with the scars and losses that were recorded in the crises that engulfed our beloved state some years back.
“All I am pleading for now is forgiveness and reconciliation.
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“On behalf of all citizens of the state, including farmers and herders, I sincerely tender an apology for the huge and unquantifiable losses you may have encountered in the past conflicts.”
He said his administration’s pursuit of policies that promote public peace and harmony in the last four years has made people who have initially fled the state – Nigerians and foreigners alike – to return.
He, however, noted that “the state is still faced with some security challenges due to the activities of criminals,” adding that “it is my expectations that from this reconciliation programme, people will soberly reflect to forgive one another and seek reconciliation of the bad things of the past.
“As we mark the Second Annual Forgiveness Day, we are conscious of the efforts that have been put in to ensure that our people live in peace and harmony, as well as find a new narrative that does not only prevent conflict but also encourages dialogue and reconciliation,” the governor said.