BONIFACE Ifer, President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA) has advised the Nasarawa State Government to prioritise security and agriculture, to lay solid foundation for peace and economic growth in the state.
Ifer gave the advice while briefing newsmen in Lafia on Sunday.
He congratulated Gov. Abdullahi Sule for successfully completing one year in office and for taking proactive steps within the one year in office to put the state on the path of industrialisation.
The TIDA president also commended the governor over the steps taken so far to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
He advised the state government to redouble commitment on security so as to sustain lasting peace.
Ifer called for focus on agriculture, being the source of livelihood for many people in the state, especially those of Tiv tribe extraction.
He said that laying a solid foundation for both security and agriculture would enable the governor actualise the campaign promises of his administration.
According to him, paying keen attention to both areas will help to turn Nasarawa State into a major economic state competing with other states in the country.
“I firmly believe that by the time the governor’s tenure expires, Nasarawa State will be competing with the likes of Lagos, Rivers and Kano states.
“That is why I want to advise that he should focus more on security and agriculture because these two are critical to his administration’s success or failure.
“Security as we all know is very critical to economic development because if there is no security, there won’t be any development. Then agriculture employs a lot of people in this state, especially my people, the Tiv.
“I am a Tiv man and I know that my people need security and peace first and when there is peace, they will be able to work in their farms.
“Once there is no peace, they can’t go to their farms and everyone suffers for it. The agriculture produce from the farms helps in feeding the state and contributes immensely to its economic development,” he said.
He also lauded the state government for the steps taken to reconcile herdsmen and farmers and appealed for more diplomatic initiatives to iron out differences and resolve all grudges.
Ifer said this would help to make both groups thrive in their activities and live in peace.
“I am very concerned with how Tiv people are being treated, particularly in Keana Local Government Area and I urge the governor to do something about the situation there and do something fast because these are little issues that create crisis.
“When somebody feels there is injustice, the person begins to complain and put on resistance and before you know it, it results into crisis.
” So I really urge the governor to liaise with the local government authorities so they can improve the living situation of the Tiv people in Keana,” he said.
Ifer assured the state governor that Tiv people under his leadership would continue to support his drive to industrialise the state.
He promised that they would continue to live in peace with people of other tribes across the state.