Gov. Mutfwang seeks revival of traditional hunting festivals to tackle banditry, kidnapping
Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau has urged all traditional groups in the state to revive age-old hunting festivals, which most tribes are known for, as an antidote to tackling insecurity.
Mr Mutfwang, who made the call on Wednesday in Jos, when the Pan Development Association (PDA), paid him a courtesy visit, said reviving hunting activities would also help address the issues threatening the state’s forests reserves.
The governor, who also acknowledged that the security issues confronting the state required more proactive measures from all stakeholders, called for cooperation and synergy by community development associations towards that regard.
“We must think of how to enhance the value of our lives in terms of security. I have directed all the local government chairmen to liaise with the traditional rulers; we must revive our hunting festivals.
“It is the hunting festivals that take us to all the forests, it is the hunting festivals that take us to the mountains, to the river beds, and if we don’t do that, we will leave those territories for people to occupy.
“When we go hunting, people will know that the owners of the land are still there; so this is one area we need to think through strategically and see how every community can be part of this move, so as to take back their lands from insurgents.
“By the time one community is doing it, and joins forces with another community, we will be joining strength with strength, and I am sure that before long, we will be able to secure the land and make sure that people do not disturb us,” Mr Mutfwang said.
Also addressing the issue of Pandam Game Reserve as a harbinger of criminals, the governor said that the federal government was making arrangements to take over the property, though he was looking into its modalities.
“We are asking questions, we learned it was handed over to the Federal Government, they’ve written notes for a formal takeover, but I said before I do that, I want to know how the story began.
“I want to know what are the commitments that have been made in the past, we will investigate, we will re-evaluate, and if there is need to ask the Federal Government further questions or make further commitments, be rest assured we will do so.
“So let me thank you sincerely for this visit, and I will like to assure you that the issues you have raised, we will continue to look at them and how to make sure that whatever needs to come out of Quan-Pan to add to the plateau basket will not be neglected.”
On his part, Dr Nan’kang Garba, president of PDA, congratulated the governor over his victory at the polls and at the courts, saying the group had come to also present to him some issues confronting it.
“Today, we the Pan people gather in this hallowed hall of the Government House, to celebrate the triumph of democracy and the will of the people.
“It is with great pleasure and pride that we extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as the elected governor of Plateau State with resounding victory, affirmed by the Supreme Court.
“We are saddened by the recent loss of lives in the state, our heart goes out to all those affected by these devastating events.
As we mourn the lives cut short, may we also strive for a state where such senseless acts of violence are eradicated. We salute the strategies of the government to forestall future occurrences with the equipping of security agencies, but wish to solicit for more support in some areas,” Mr Garba said.
Some of the areas the association requested support included agriculture and water, road network, health, electrification and appointments.
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