DIMAPUR, Dec 2 – Calling for firm commitment to resolve all differences and join hands for economic development, Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar said that with the Nagas’ strong community institutions and the spirit of working together, he saw “hope for the future.”
“I am sure, with the dedication and the good wishes of everyone, we will be able to overcome all obstacles and create a vibrant, economically strong Nagaland that the founding fathers of our State had dreamt of,” he stated while greeting the people of the State on the occasion of the Statehood Day on Thursday.
While paying rich tributes to the pioneers of the State, Kumar wished the people peace, development and prosperity. He also appreciated the efforts of law-enforcing agencies, security forces, non-governmental organisations, tribal Hohos, civil society organisations, church bodies and the Forum for Naga Reconciliation and stated that it is because of their commendable efforts that the State is enjoying a peaceful atmosphere today.
The ongoing dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM has raised expectations of some accord being reached sooner or later, he stated.
However, the Governor also pointed to the increasing incidents of crime which, he said, are a cause for concern. He observed that civil society organisations in Dimapur had recently highlighted this concern and expressed determination to fight the trend. In this regard, Kumar said that the State Government is also very concerned and has resolved to firmly deal with extortion and other anti-social activities in Dimapur and elsewhere in the State. “This is a right decision because it is important that there is peace in the State if we want to have development and progress,” he said.
On development and economic growth, the Governor pointed out that funds are needed for this. However, while the Government is pursuing the State’s requirement of funds with the Centre and Planning Commission, he stressed that “we have to focus on our own assets and create an environment conducive to investment.” And here, he said, “our most valuable asset is our youth.”
Extending heartiest Statehood Day greetings, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that the State has, in the last 48 years, steadily traversed over a vast canvas of progress and development. However, during the last eight years of the DAN Government, the pace of progress has been accelerated to a level unseen in the past, he stated, while pointing to the agriculture and allied sector, empowerment of women and youth, addressing the problems of underdevelopment in the backward districts, promotion of sports and youth activities, inculcating the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth and many other areas of socio-economic advancement.
“We have covered unprecedented grounds in these past eight years of the DAN ministry,” the Chief Minister said.
Further underlining that peace and development go hand in hand, Rio said that his Government has tried its best to unite all the Naga groups so as to facilitate the achievement of a durable and lasting peace in the land. He voiced happiness that there has been significant improvement in the law-and-order situation in the last 14 years of ceasefire, particularly during the last three years.
“These were all made possible by the unstinted support of the people at large, the civil society, the Hohos and the churches,” he said.