Mohammed Babangida

The former vice president said he would merge Fulani and Tivs.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has promised to restore peace in Benue state if he is elected president in this month’s elections.

Atiku also pledged to promote agriculture for the development of the state and the country.

He was speaking at Makurdi on Monday during the presidential campaign in Benue state.

The former vice president said that if he were elected president, he would unite the Fulani and Tiv tribes. Benue and much of the central north are at the center of constant clashes between farmers and pastoralists, as well as other ethno-religious crises.

According to a statement from the PDP Campaign Council, Atiku has promised to allow people to go freely to their farms without fear of being attacked.

“O Umbrellas of the Tivu people of the world, just like when I came to Benue in 2001 and forced Franis to sign a peace deal with their Tivu brothers, you chose me to be your president. If you give me, I promise I will come and make sure that peace returns to Benue State.

“The state of Benue is the food store of the country. Today, farmers in Benue are insecure and will not go to the farm anymore. I assure you that safety will return to the state of Benue,” he said. Atiku said it will fight unemployment by investing $10 billion in empowering women and youth.

“I have also promised that by the grace of God the problem of unemployment among young men and women will be a thing of the past, so in a policy document I will commit $10 billion to empower young men and women. You said you would assign it with the company.

“Also, let me assure you that the lack of infrastructure in terms of connectivity with other neighboring states facing this state will be a thing of the past. We assure you that our transportation system will work again.

“Because Benue was a gateway state between the Far North and the South, there is a railway line through Benue, but today that line is not working. We promise to do that,” Atiku said.

Among other things, Atiku has pledged to tackle the problem of constant strikes by university lecturers. “I assure you that university closures due to non-payment of staff salaries will be a thing of the past.

“I have a private university and have never gone on strike. So if  private universities can’t go on strike for a single day, why should public universities go on strike? ASUU promises not to go on strike because we will pay and fully fund the education sector,” he said.

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