Some communities in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria which have been engulfed with crises over the years are seeking for strategic and new peace building initiative to restore the hitherto peaceful coexistence.
The communities, Barkin Ladi and Jos South local government areas of the state, also want genuine forgiveness of one another, especially among their people who have been victims of the numerous crises, so that they could join hands together in moving the state forward.
Speaking at a two-day capacity building training for community stakeholders on peace building , Leaders of the Communities also agreed to serve as change agents in their various wards including preaching the message of peace and tranquility to the grassroots saying no meaningful progress could be made in an atmosphere of crises.
Organized by an NGO, Mashiah Foundation, the training agenda included to enlighten community stakeholders on conflict management and dialogue mechanism, as well as early warning signs of conflict.
Others are strengthening peace dialogue committees in Barkin Ladi and Jos South, and to also intimate community stakeholders, especially women, of their role in peace and social cohesion.
In his remarks, the Village Head of Rung, Foron District in Barkin Ladi, Da Bulus Chuwang Jang, said the peace conference was imperative because they are all yearning for sustainable peace in their various communities.
He said they would try all they could to unite themselves irrespective of their differences in order to move their communities forward, adding that when they are united, they can pursue a peaceful course and overcome all the triggers of violent conflicts.
The Village Head stressed that to ensure lasting peace in the communities, government must support such peace building training as well as do everything possible to relocate the remaining Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) still living in different camps back to their homes.
Women Leader of Kogomtah in Jos South, Chundun Yakubu, said they have also agreed to put their heads together and mobilize women to be peace drivers in all the communities previously hit by crises.
She explained that women should always be carried along in all peace initiatives/programmes because of their strategic positions in the family and the society, pointing out that their input and commitment could bring about the needed result.
Also speaking, the Youth Leader of Kogomrak community in Vwang District of Jos South said if not for the regular peace building programmes and relevant workshops, the violent crises engulfing parts of the state would have escalated.
He said all the selected leaders would use the knowledge acquired at the training to prevent violence, or manage a violent situation properly so that it does not escalate.
.The Executive Director, Mashiah Foundation, Pastor Oyebade said the training has undoubtedly built the capacity of the participants in terms of not only security awareness, but income generating activities and other human development.
He added that the next phase of the project is to support and strength the monthly peace dialogue committee, which include the Hausa-Fulanis communities.
Presentations were made by representatives of the State Security Service (DSS), Operation Rainbow (a local security outfit in the state) and Dr Babajide Agboola, a conflict resolution expert.