A former Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, on Tuesday appealed to insurgents to sheath their swords and embrace peace in order to fast track the socio-economic development of the country.
Maku, also a 2015 gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in NAsarawa State, spoke with newsmen in Wakama, Akun Local Council Development Area of the state.
Maku, the National Secretary of APGA, said that activities of the insurgents and other security challenges bedeviling the country had affected the lives of many Nigerians and the socio-economic development of the country negatively.
He said, “As a former minister of Information and a one- time Supervising Minister of Defence, I know how much government had spent in ending the activities of Boko Haram in the North East and other security challenges in the country.
“Also recently, President Muhammadu Buhari made a submission for $1billion to be spent in combating insurgency in the North East and other parts of the country.
“If we change that to our currency, it will be N360 billion, that is the exchange rate as at today.
“With N360 billion, you can imagine the number of schools, boreholes, factories, youths, women and farmers’ empowerment that the government would have provided to communities across Nigeria.’’
He said that insurgency and other security challenges had affected the nation’s development following the losses the country had been experiencing over the years.
Maku advised Nigerians to pray for peace for the country.
“ I wish my country peace and I urge government at all levels, security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to work in harmony for the promotion of peace and unity.
“As we enter the new year, we must continue to extend the hands of love, humility and generosity towards one another and live as one big family irrespective of our background, and trust God for a better tomorrow and a greater country.’’
He advised Nigerians to shun violence, no matter the level of provocation but must unite in the interest of peace and national development.
He advised the residents of Nasarawa state and Nigerians to shun divide and rule principle but be united in electing credible leaders for good governance.
The former minister also advised Nigerians to be hard working for greater Nigeria.