From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Niger State, Mohammed Umaru Bago has stated that if elected governor, he will engage the Fulani in curbing insecurity in the state.
Bago made this known at the Town Hall Interactive Session with Fulani Stakeholders, organized by Fulbe APC Support Organization Niger State, held on Sunday at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State.
According to the gubernatorial candidate, he would engage the Fulani to provide information and as well, be commissioned as rangers to secure forest, in collaboration with security agencies.
He maintained that the engagement would form part of his strategies to curtail security challenges, especially, the issue of banditry bedeviling some parts of the state.
He stressed the need to carry Fulani along in the scheme of things, adding that doing so would give them a sense of belonging, thereby making it easy for the government to expose them to other businesses rather than their ancestral business of cattle rearing.
“I wonder why Fulani cannot be a mechanic or do any other suitable vocation just like any other Nigerian citizen,” he stated.
He disclosed that Fulani would be given training in skills acquisition by his government if elected as the next state governor.
Bago also called for the recognition of nomadic schools and their need to be integrated with the conventional ones.
He said when he informed the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello that there were no less than one million Fulani in Niger State, the governor suggested that news and other informative, and educative programmes be broadcast on our TV and radio in Fulbe.
The state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso assured the association that government will continue to support them by ensuring it contributes its quota to the progress and development of the Fulani.
In a remark, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial Zone (Zone B), Sen. Sani Musa, said forgiving one another, was the beginning of a healing process, as he apologized to the Fulani where they might have wronged them and pleaded with them to turn a new leaf, saying that everybody must do the right thing.
He declared to sponsor annual vaccination of their animals as he donated an 18 seater bus and N5 million cash to the organization.
Earlier, the Niger State Coordinator, Nomadic Education, Alh. Umaru Ahmed Rebe, who is also the State Coordinator of the Tinubu/Bago Ruga Ruga Fulbe APC Support Organization said Niger State was the only home they know and had nowhere to go to, good or bad.
He said: “All the various groups are well represented here, and we have advised all our 25 Excos at the various 25 local governments of the state to collaborate with the party at their various local government areas.
“We need to be carried along and be empowered as every Nigerian, and be accorded respect we deserve.
“I, therefore, seize the opportunity to declare our support and endorse Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohammed Umaru Bago for president and governor respectively, and all APC candidates,” the coordinator stated.