The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has assured the people of Benue State that he will restore peace to the state if elected president.
Atiku who stated this in Makurdi on Monday while addressing a rally said that the measures he would adopt to ensure that peace returns to the state is for the Fulani and Tivs to sign a peace accord.
Speaking during the presidential campaign rally in Benue state, he said he would bring insecurity to an end and ensure that there is peaceful co-existence between Fulani and Tiv communities in the state.
“People would freely go to farms without fear of losing their lives, reinforcing Benue’s status as the food basket of the nation, ” the former Vice President promised.
“The umbrella of Tiv people all over the world, I promise you, if you elect me as your president, just like I did in 2001 when I came to Benue and made the Fulanis sign a peace accord with their brothers Tivs, I will come and make sure peace returns to Benue State.
“Benue State is the food basket of this country; today, our farmers in Benue do not go to the farm again because of insecurity. I will make sure security returns to Benue State,” he said.
Atiku promised the electorate that unemployment would be a thing of the past.
“That is why in my policy document, I said we are going to allocate 10 billion US dollars to empower our young men and women with enterprises.
“Let me also assure you that the infrastructural deficit you are facing in this state in terms of your connectivity with other neighbouring states will be a thing of the past because we are going to make sure that we vote funding for the development of roads and railways to make sure that our transportation system is once again working,” he said.
According to him, Benue State has been a gateway state between the far north and the south.
This, he said, is why there is a railway line that runs through the state, although it is not functional.
“I promise you that when you elect a PDP government, we shall reopen the railway lines,” he said.
“Let me again reassure you that the closure of our universities because of the non-payment of salaries to the members of staff will be a thing of the past.
“I have a private university, and we have never gone on strike for one day, so if a private university cannot go on strike for one day, why should the public university? I promise you ASUU will not go on strike, because we will pay them and fund the education sector adequately.”
The PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, in his remarks, told the supporters that with what they had allegedly suffered in the last eight years of the All Progressives Congress (APC), only somebody who has what he described as a mental problem would vote for the party.
“Do not waste your vote,” he added.
Atiku visits the Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse on Monday.
Speaking on the abstinence of five aggrieved PDP governors known as the Integrity Group or G5, one of whom is the Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ayu argued that the party is not divided.
“There are a few members who have grievances. We are talking to them. We want to make sure they come back and work with us fully. One week is enough to change everything. This thing has been going on and I want to assure you that we’ll receive everybody back.
“I am appealing to my younger brother, Gov. Ortom, to come back and join us so that we will fight to rescue Nigeria. Gov. Ortom has nowhere to go; his only house is the PDP and anytime that he comes, we shall be more than happy to receive him and all the PDP governors.
“We want all our candidates, all our governors to be with us because if you allow APC to win this election, you will regret it.”
Atiku earlier visited the Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse.
He equally met with Christian leaders in Makurdi, the state capital.