Plateau Crisis: YIAVHA inaugurates 50 inter-faith peace ambassadors

From Pwanagba Agabus,

In its efforts to deescalate violent protest and crisis in Muslim and Christian communities in Plateau State, a group under the aegis of Youth Initiative Against Violence and Human Rights Abuse (YIAVHA) has commissioned 50 Youth Inter-Faith Peace Ambassadors in Jos North Local Government Area of the State.

The Youth Peace Ambassadors who are drawn from both Christian and Muslim communities in the State are entrusted with the task of educating and enlightening youths who were born during the 2001 Jos crisis to shun violence and embrace peace.

This was disclosed by an Executive Director of (YIAVHA), Comrade Jacob Pwakim Choji during the inauguration of the Ambassadors, at a one-day youth workshop on community organising, technology for peace and review of Inter-Generational Story Telling (IGST), held in Jos, the State Capital.

Choji said, “Over the years, politics has being the bane of our development and has resulted to crisis in Jos and Nigeria; and based on our findings due to wrong stories or stories that are not told of collaborative way of politics which has caused violence in the State.

“We have brought together young people with energy who in our analysis are found to be key actors.

According to him, “we all have our own religion and ethnic groups, but we insist that when it comes to state issues we have to drop our religion and ethnicity to enable us get things right.

“We also came up with this initiative because over the years when you hear of Jos, what comes into your mind is crisis, but today if we increase the usage of the social media to promote peace and advertise peace initiatives, we will be building an environment of hope for young people in the State.

Also speaking, a resource person, Dr Prince Charles Dickson, who spoke about “Understanding Technology for Peace and the Essence of Community Collaboration”, urged the youths to deploy the use of social media to advertise peace.

Dickson also noted that the #EndSARS protest was possible nationwide due to the use of technology and admonished the youths to take it advantage to promote peace initiatives in their communities.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of YIAVHA, Comrade Alicho Christopher, said the programme tagged: “Faith-PLUS”, has reached out to about 700 youths in 20 communities in Jos North Local Government Area, and the effort has reawakened their consciousness on the need to eschew violence.

Christopher maintained that the aforementioned number of youths have now embraced each other alongside different religious and ethnic groups for peace to deescalate the issues of ‘No Go Areas’ in the State.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer noted that the exercise has dismantled the issues of “No Go Areas”, which had lingered as a result of the 2001unrest among other crisis; where Christians could not go to Muslim communities and vice- versa.

Meantime, Mrs Tongriang Ponfa and Alhassan Dankoli, both of Anguwan Dalyop and Ibrahim Katsina Street respectively, acknowledged that the Faith-Plus activity has impacted immensely in their lives and are proud to be part of the 50 Ambassadors inaugurated, to propagate peaceful coexistence in their communities and even beyond.

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