Why Forgiveness Day is commemorated in Plateau- DG Peace Building

From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

The Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Mr Joseph Lengmang, on Sunday said  forgiveness is a crucial ingredient for peace and peaceful coexistence in any society.

The DG said that even though issues that plunged some communities in the state into unrest were not completely resolved, there was need to forgive one another for peace to reign.

Lengmang disclosed this in Jos, the State Capital, in commemoration of Forgiveness Day in the State, which is celebrated February 7th.

It would be recalled that on February 7th 2019, Governor Simon Lalong inaugurated the ‘Garden of Forgiveness’ in Jos and declared the day as Day of Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

According to him, “We have made significant progress but we still have a long way to go, we have a long to because of the issues that are still troubling us.

“It is our belief that success of the post-conflict peace building process is fundamentally tied or determined on how much the people are willing to let go.

“If we keep hurting, if we keep playing what happened in our heads, it is very possible that we will continue inadvertently to perpetrate like a vicious circle of violence in our state.

“The whole idea behind the forgiveness day is to look at ourselves, ask ourselves hard questions, having come this far, where do we want to go from here.

“How do we agree to open that new chapter with a view to bequeath a stable and secure society for our children and their own children going forward?

“The most  important thing that can happen to any family is to bequeath a legacy of peace to his/her own children and it is in the context of this that we are commemorating this day of forgiveness,’’ he said.

The DG maintained that the Governor in his wisdom set out 7th February, for the citizenry to think and have deep reflection of what happen and begin to reach out to build relationships and heal the hurts of the past years.

The DG said that the commemoration of the day started with Juma’at prayer on Friday and Church service on Sunday.

According to him, since the this year’s day was a Sunday, Gov. Lalong would address the people of the state on Monday being February 8, 2021.

Lengmang appreciated the media for their contributions to the success of post conflict peace and sustaining same, he urged them to remain advocates of peace.

He added that their “efforts and commitment”, as peace ambassadors have greatly assisted in peace building in the state.

Also speaking, a crisis victim, Mr Gyang Jatau Doji, Ward Head of Lyoh, in Gyel Community of Jos South LGA, urged the people to learn how to de-emphasize things that divide and emphasize things that unite them.

Doji said, “We should not shield criminals amongst us, rather expose them, so that they can face the full wrath of the law.

“If we don’t shield criminals, it will build trust amongst us.

The Ward Head, narrated a recent incident between a native of his community, and someone from the Hausa community, but he had to stand for the truth, because he fished out the perpetrator who is from the same ethnic group with him, and he was punished.

Another crisis victim, Hajiya Lantana Abullahi,
said that she was proud of the progress so far made in the restoration of the peace in hitherto troubled communities in the state.

Abdullahi said that state is taking steps that matter to restore Plateau to  home of peace and tourism as it were.

She said that women and children were usually the most affect crises situations and urged the agency and indeed the state to give special attention women and children in the post-conflict efforts.

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