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Peace has brought investors, people back to Plateau State- Lalong

Gov. Simon Lalong says Plateau is now an investors’ delight as peace has now been fully restored by his administration in the state.

Lalong said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja.

He said already, old and new investors had been trouping into the state following the restoration of peace among the various tribes and communities across the state.

Lalong said that the violence which, hitherto, characterised the state had driven away many of the investors who were uncomfortable with the volatile security situation in the state.

“What we are doing now is to consolidate on the peace that we have on the Plateau because areas that were seen as no go areas no longer exists on the Plateau.

“People now move in anywhere, it is the same Plateau that we are trying to bring back again; so, we take advantage of the nature that God has given us: the weather.

“Once you have peace, certainly, people will come to invest in your state. Recently I was in China and the Chinese are now flooding my state, we just signed an MoU with some last week.

“A lot of people are beginning to come back to Plateau. Before now, when I came in, I was busy looking for investors and each time I go they will ask me, is there peace in your state.

“But now they are asking me when are we coming to your state, they are not talking about crisis again, they are asking me when are we coming to Plateau.

“So, the peace we have restored has introduced a lot of people and attraction to a lot of investors and so many of them are coming.”

On how he was able to restore the peace, the governor said that he resorted to community engagements to find the root of the incessant violent clashes between the communities.

He said that when he assumed office as the governor, many things had been destroyed, there was no peace while killings and crisis characterised the state.

He said that structures and developments in the state were lopsided, ethnicity, religious differences taken to very strong heights while the education sector had collapsed.

Lalong said that he had to come up with a five point policy trust to revive the state with peace and security at the top of the agenda.

“Security was number one. If you do not have security, there will be difficulty in executing the rest of the pillar trust.

“I embarked seriously on security, to bring back security to the people of Plateau State.

“What I did was to first start with community approach, to go back to areas that were in conflict, to pick out from them directly the reasons for the conflict.

“So, when we brought out the reasons for the conflict, with the grace of God, and also with the cooperation of the people of Plateau State, we set up committees within the feuding communities supervised by government for them to bring out areas where they will also settle, especially around the Jos side.

“Within a very quick moment, the committees, that is between the Fulanis and the Biroms started settling, we realised that peace was getting restored.”

He said that he was now working on how to consolidate on the peace, now being enjoyed in Jos.

Lalong said that in order to ensure that all forms of crises were averted, his administration had set up a Bureau for Conflict Management and Reconciliation.

“That that bureau will be responsible for initiating and also bringing out issues that will be a signal to crisis in the state.

“The House of Assembly passed a law and we have appointed people, so there will be a permanent bureau: that will also take the heat off me.

“A lot of people live in Jos but for the past years a lot of people ran away and abandoned their properties, they even said that they are not coming back to Jos.

“As I am talking now, many people are coming back to Jos.”

According to him, the bureau is expected to come up with further recommendations that will be implemented to ensure lasting peace in the state.

He said that for the first time, he had appointed a commissioner from Jos North, to appease the people of the area which was neglected in the past.

Lalong said that as part of efforts to ensure equity, fairness and justice in the state, all the 53 ethnic groups would benefit from appointments to be made by his administration.

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