The Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, on Thursday in Kagoro, Kaduna State at the annual Afan Festival said he personally supports the creation of New Gurara State from the present Kaduna State.
“The Federal Government recognizes the inalienable rights of the citizens to operate within the confines of the law for self-determination, promotion and harnessing the potentials of its people. Therefore, the socio-political emancipation of a people lies in their conscious effort to champion a cause that will progressively move them to the next level,” Sambo noted.
The Vice President expressed the deepest sympathies of the Federal Government over the loss of lives and property in the land, even as he assured them that “in order to forestall and secure the area against unwarranted attacks and senseless killings, the Federal Government is committed to setting up a military formation very soon that will ensure the provision of adequate security”.
He also assured the people of the state that “we shall defeat the evil of this insurgency and terrorist acts. God willing we shall have peace and development in our dear country”.
Congratulating the people for the New Year 2015, Vice President Sambo emphasized that the year was an important year, being an election year, stressing that government was committed to delivering on free and fair elections.
While calling on the people to be peaceful during the period, he said: “No ambition of any politician is worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“I want to draw our attention to the fact that this time around, no act of violence shall be tolerated.
“Decisive actions will be taken against any person participating in any violent act before, during and after the elections.”
Speaking on the festival, Sambo said the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Administration was committed to revamping Nigeria’s tourism potentials to make it a viable venture, which would create employment and increase wealth for the people.
He said the Afan festival had not only assisted “in unifying the people of Kagoro but has further catapulted the tourism potential of our nation and promoted our rich cultural heritage in the eyes of the world”.
To the Chief of Kagoro, Sir Ufuwai Bonnet, Sambo said: “I commend your effort in keeping the ball rolling by improving on the legacies bequeathed to you by your predecessors.
“You have no doubt built on the foundation of peace, tranquility, fair mindedness and nobility.”
On the dividends of the Transformation Agenda in the area, Sambo listed them to include the 215mw thermal power plant at the Kudendan Industrial Area; the 40mw power plant at the Gurara Dam, which has agriculture and tourism components; as well as the promotion of tourist sites at the Matsirga Waterfalls’ the Kagoro Hills; and the Nok Culture, among other job creation and youth empowerment programmers under Small and Medium Enterprises and the transformational agricultural agenda.
Sambo said government had opened the frontiers for the effective utilization of the huge mineral deposits in the area through the public private partnership policy.
He added that the two Kagoro erosion projects at Kajimi were nearing completion.
He also added that to move people and goods, the Kaduna-Abuja fast train, and other rail and road networks which would pass through the area were being delivered.
Governor Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State said the Kagoro people provide an example on how diverse groups should live.
Yero added that the state government had recognized that culture and tourism were important sources of Internally Generated Revenue.
The governor also said that he was doing everything possible to ensure the provision of adequate security.
Speaking on the agitation for the creation of Gurara State, Yero said the executive and legislative arms of the state government were all in support of the creation of the new state.
The Chairman of the occasion and the President of the Kagoro Development Association, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Paul Abiyong respectively, noted the importance of the day to the people of Kagoro, while also calling on the State and Federal Governments for more projects and presence.
In his New Year message, Bonnet said the over 400 years old festival was a time of thanksgiving and reflection, noting that it was a very important holiday, which is non commercial.
He called on the people to put on the face of hope in the New Year, maintaining that the Kagoro people will remain a great and united nation.
He thanked Sambo and Yero for honouring their invitation.
He said Kagoro supports the President Jonathan’s administration, calling for more federal presence in the area.
The royal father called on politicians and the electorate to be peaceful during the forthcoming general election.
He said politicians should be true democrats and that the motto for the 2015 polls should be politics of love.
The festival derives its name from a religious ceremony: “Afan,” meaning expressing gratitude to God.
It is to seek the blessings of God in the New Year.
The Oegworok people are renowned hunters and excellent swordsmen who have always defended and protected their domain against intruders and marauders.
Highlights of the festival was a colourful and beautiful presentation of the rich culture of the Kagoro people through dances and displays.