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Benue one of least developed in Northern Nigeria – Gov. Alia

Benue’s Gov. Hyacinth Alia says the state is one of the least developed among the 19 states in the northern part of Nigeria.

Gov. Alia made the declaration on Friday when he broke the Ramadan fast with the Muslim faithful in Makurdi.

He vowed, however, that the situation must change as his administration was determined to embark on developmental projects that would put Benue in a pride of place among other states in the country.

“Out of the 19 northern states, Benue is one of the very least developed. It is just now that we are even installing solar streetlights.

“As we started work, hyenas came out to bite. They are demanding that we should not construct roads, build schools, pay salaries and provide street lights and I am saying ‘no’.

“The poor masses of Benue voted for me in an unprecedented manner. It is better I work for the masses.

“Today I invite the young generation to go to the farms. Let us go to the farm. Join cooperatives and we will support you. The state government will give you the capital to farm.

“Nigeria should not be talking about food insecurity. Benue alone can feed Nigeria if crises are stopped and farmers are able to return to their farms,’’ he said.

He admonished Nigerians to unite to be able to confront common enemies like bandits, kidnappers and corruption among others.

The governor stressed that Nigerians needed unity in diversity to make meaningful progress in the comity of nations.

“We are all one. And this is why we have inter-marriages. My sister is married to one of you (Muslims) and I find a lot of love in her home.

“All our holy books speak about peace and love. Why do we create divisions and hatred?

“The one who created us all desire that we are peaceful and love one another,’’ he said.

Alia also enjoined Nigerians to change their perception about government; about themselves and about religion, stressing that none of the holy books talked about picking tents against one another.

“We were living together peacefully for decades until the bad guys, bandits and gunmen came killing us.

“They are not our friends. They don’t want peace. They are against us and we must unite to stop them.

“We are the ones to prevent insecurity. The police and military can only help us to succeed. So no bad egg should hide under our good shield to cause us harm,’’ he said. (NAN)

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