The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has proposed extra-budgetary attention for the three senatorial districts of Zamfara State in exchange for one year of ceasefire by the warring factions of herdsmen in the state.
Gbajabiamila made the proposal while addressing warring factions of herdsmen on Monday during a reconciliation meeting at the Government House, Gusau on Monday.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to bring development to the state through budgetary allocation.
Gbajabiamila, who expressed happiness for being part of the historic reconciliation of the factions, whose activities held the state to ransom for about 16 years, said: “From what I understand, what the Federal Government needs to do is to develop these areas; some of these issues are borne out of poverty and frustration.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government, at least as far as the National Assembly is concerned, when it comes to budgeting of your 14 local governments, every senatorial district will be empowered; as far as schools are concerned, as far as skills acquisition centres are concerned, for our people to learn and acquire skills and be empowered to go out and win the daily bread to take care of their families.
“It is for us to develop your three senatorial districts together with your state government. You have capable hands in the National Assembly already. You have members that are from Zamfara who are representing you; they have already brought up the issues on the floor and when it comes to time for budgeting which is very soon, I’m sure you will see that Zamfara will be well represented.
“So, here’s the deal for me: We will devote a sizeable amount of resources to the senatorial districts but you will have to do something in return; it is a question of give and take. For a start, let’s have at least one year of peace; let’s not hear of killing for a year, let’s not hear of banditry for a year in Zamfara. After that one year, we will renew our efforts.
“I want to believe we are here with men of good intentions and women of peace, that in the end, what has happened in Zamfara over the years, by the time we get into January, February it will be a thing of the past, do I have your word?”
The Speaker also made a case for serious collaboration between the Federal and state government on the issue if security for life and property.
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