The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Williams Stuart Symington, has charged the government and people of Taraba State to embrace the diverse ethno religious composition of the state for progress rather than allow it to weigh down on development efforts.
Symington said this, in Jalingo, on Thursday, while on a familiarisation visit to the state.
The Ambassador who said Nigerians wee commonly known for their resilience, hard work, friendliness and hospitality especially towards foreigners, noted that these traits cuts across religious, ethnic and sectional barriers.
“One thing that stand out about Nigerians is that they are resilient, industrious and hospitable, irrespective of religion and tribe. This means that your common strength sterns from your diversity. Taraba State is highly blessed. Some of the best tea I have ever taken comes from Taraba. But you must embrace your diversity because that is where your strength lies”, he said.
In his remarks, Governor Darius Ishaku said that despite huge efforts by the government, peace has remain very elusive in the state.
Ishaku lamented that the state was having challenges in areas of health, education and security, insisting that if only he had peace and security in the state, he could have used the natural resources available to develop the state to an enviable height.
“Your visit is heartwarming to all of us here. I am sure it will provide positive chances and complement our efforts ensuring peaceful coexistence and security of lives and property of our people.
“One of my major concerns from inception is the security. If you give me security, I can use our enormous nature’s gifts to develop our dear state to an enviable height. But I am here sitting on a thrown without a crown. I have no control over any of the armed forces and so there is little I can do”, Ishaku lamented.
The governor said the “polarisation in the state along religious and ethnic lines makes decision making very difficult as each policy is challenged not on its merit but a predetermined biased mindset based on sectional bigotry.”