• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Revival, maintenance of cultural heritage key to ending insecurity, Says Gombe deputy governor

Interview with Muhammad Magaji; Commissioner of Finance for Gombe State

Manasseh Jatau, Gombe State deputy governor has said that the revival and maintenance of cultural heritage of various tribes across Nigeria is key to fighting and ending the insecurity that has bedevilled the country.

The deputy governor added that research has shown that no culture has taught its people to go against societal morals therefore, if cultural values are restored in the various tribes, the society will be a better place.

Read also: Gombe, Jigawa, others rank top with best economic outlook among states – Report

Jatau, who started this in Jos at the 2024 Berom annual cultural day celebration (Nzem Berom), also said that all cultures and languages must be protected to avoid going into extinction.

“There were 521 languages and ethnic groups in Nigeria but two have gone extinct. They have gone extinct because they were ashamed of their culture. They refused to speak their language. No culture teaches its people bad things. So, if all cultural values are maintained, Nigeria will be a better place.

He added that minority tribes must imitate the celebration of their cultural heritage just as the Berom people were not ashamed of their culture which has kept them together as a people.

“As minority groups, you must imitate what has been done here, you must keep your culture and keep your language alive. From what I have seen today, I’ve learned a lot and I appeal to other minority tribes to also learn from this. I urge all of you to please do the best you can so that when you go back to the people, do everything you can to better the purpose of your nation.

“I also thank the Berom people for burning the candle of their culture. We will have a reference point at any point in time. May God make it easy for us. May everybody that came here go back with something to learn from and remember that there is a nation called Berom because they are destined to remain on the earth until the end of memory, history and time.

“Don’t wait until you are in a government position. Don’t wait until you are a senator, from whatever level you are, do what you can to ensure that the culture survive till the end of time and till the end of history.”

While urging the people to go back to farm and pray for bumper harvest as the rains resumed, the deputy governor expressed worry over the soaring prices of farm produce that has increased the suffering of the people.

“As we are facing rainy season now, let us pray in all ways that we know, based on our expert religions, based on our important religions, that we will have a nice rainy season and good harvest to bring down the prices of food items that is unbelievable. It is unbelievable because for a bag of corn to go up to 70,000 is unbelievable. We must work hard to bring it down to everybody.”

Earlier in his speech, Gang Buba, the chairman Plateau State council of chiefs and emirs who doubles as the Gbong Gwom (king) of Jos, said the celebration was a reminder to all that the Berom people know their history and cannot be intimidated by the killings.

“The celebration of this day is a reminder to all of us that we know who we are, we know where we are coming from and we know our territory. To the glory of God. As we celebrate these year’s Nzem Berom, we have tried as much as possible to make it in honor of the people of Plateau State who have been brutally killed by the insurgents that have terrorised us.

“We have deliberately continued to host this cultural festival to remind our detractors and people who think they can intimidate us and intimidate the people of Plateau State by their dastardly acts of killings and their desire to take our lands, that by the grace of God Almighty, we shall continue to be stronger. We will continue to protect our land and to pray to God who himself gave us this land.”

While expressing concern over the rising cost of food, the first class chief appealed to the security agencies to work with the Plateau state government to ensure that the farmers are protected.

“We will appeal that the security agencies works with the government of Plateau state to ensure protection for the people so that we can produce the food that we will need to sustain our lives, not only in Plateau state, but in Nigeria as a whole.

“The rising prices of food have been disturbing, but one will say it is because the demand keeps rising, but the supply is short, not because our people are lazy, but because of the insecurity. And so we will appeal that the security agencies protect our farmers so that we can continue to farm and feed our people accordingly. We will also appeal to government to ensure the peaceful coexistence of the people of Plateau”; the Gbong Gwom Jos said.