Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has assured non-indigenes residing in the state of their safety during and after Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly poll.
Bello gave the assurance when he received members of the state Inter-Tribal Movement led by Dr Eze Pampas in Minna on Tuesday.
He said his administration would continue to provide conducive environment for non-indigenes to conduct their businesses in the state.
“I have no problem with people coming from other parts of the country to settle down in the state for legitimate business to improve our economy.
“I have always made it clear that non indigenes should feel free to come down here and establish their businesses. Niger state is your home and we will continue to protect your lives and property,” he said.
The governor explained that his administration has never differentiate between indigenes and non-indigenes in government’s programmes and policies.
According to him, government’s decision to limit payment of the National Examination Council (NECO) fees to only indigent students is not based on sentiment, but as a result of huge debt left by the previous administration in the state.
“We met a debt of almost N600 million on NECO fees. We were able to pay part of it and right now we are still left with a debt of N250 million.
“Again, during investigation, we realised that some people from outside the state were coming to register thereby incurring more money for government to pay,” he added.
Bello, however, said government would create an inter-tribal department under the office of the Secretary to the State Government to accord official recognition to inter-tribal communities.
Mr Godswill George, Chairman of state’s Inter-Tribal Movement, said the visit was to show solidarity to the governor ahead of the forthcoming election.
Dr Eze Pampas, leader of the delegation, said the visit was to present leaders of the movement in all the eight emirate councils of the state to the governor.