From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
In his efforts to restore permanent peace in Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong said a machinery has been put in place to meet with past governors of the state, going down to the military era to have a “Plateau Discourse”.
He said having a discourse with the past governors will help in the ongoing peace building efforts in the state.
The also warned those bent on igniting violence to desist from such act, adding that he has directed security agencies to deal decisively with anybody found wanting.
Lalong stated this on the occasion of the Plateau Unity and Peace Discourse organised by the Plateau Peace Building Agency, as it commemorate the 2019 United Nations International Day of Peace.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the State, Prof. Danladi Atu, said, “The Governor has directed that we have a Plateau Discourse with past governors of the state, who have served this state assiduously and meritoriously.
“Equally those who left this state on account of one violence or the other, and have made contributions to the development of Plateau, he wants to have that conversation with them this October, 2019.
“We were mired in anxiety as we watched our once peaceful state witness a wave of violence from our cuties to ‘rurai areas. This is one part of our history that has left a bitter taste in our mouth and we are thankfully putting it behind us and ensuring it never occurs again.
“To arrest this vicious circle of violence, our administration established the Plateau Peace Building Agency to promote the culture of peace and to ensure a harmonious coexistence between the diverse ethno-religious groups in the State.
“Today the Peace Building Agency is working closely with several stakeholders at home and abroad to deliver on its mandate of Peace promotion through dialogue, education and advocacy.
According to him, “This is not only in line with the policy thrust of our administration on Peace, Security and Good Governance but responds to the Agency’s Five-Year Strategic ‘ Plan, christened the Plateau State Roadmap to Peace.
“Part of the execution of this Strategic Plan is the ongoing Peace Week that speaks to our peculiarity as united and indivisible people which is also in line with the theme of the 2019 International Peace Day which is Climate Action for Peace: Promoting Healing, forgiveness and Reconciliation.
The Governor maintained that, “That is exactly why our administration is working assiduously to ensure that no matter the grievances of people with one another, there is always room for dialogue and understanding.
“I recently gave a formal approval for the commencement of operations of the MultiDoor Court House as part of the efforts to encourage dialogue and compromise”, Lalong explained.
“Let me use this opportunity to again warn those who remain bent on causing insecurity and violence to desist as our determination to ensure that the peace attained is
consolidated cannot be shaken.
“I have directed the security agencies to deal decisively with any persons or group found to be engaged in crisis mongering and incitement or propagation of fake news or hate speech that can steer people to vioience”, he warned.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director General of the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), Mr Joseph Lengmang, said, “Plateau state and Nigeria as a whole, people are still facing different forms of Peace and security challenges, lives are sometimes lost and with families and communities suffering from the brunt.
Lengmang maintained that, “I want us to remember that we are meeting here on their behalf. Let us empathize with them. And let us also hope and believe that we can make a difference.
“As indigenes and citizens of Plateau and Nigeria respectively, let us consider what binds us together as one people and as one human family.
According to him, “Although we come from various backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, and traditions we are all brothers and sisters”.