From JIDAUNA DARING, Bassa
In a bid to further strengthen the relative peace currently being enjoyed in the state, the Irigwe and Fulani communities in Bassa Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State have signed an expression of commitment to peace in the locality, THE NIGERIA STANDARD can report.
The two communities signed the peace accord last Saturday as requested by the two tribes from the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) which took place at the Brra Ngwe Irigwe Palace, Miango to mark this year’s International Day of Peace organized by the agency.
Director General PPBA, Mr. Joseph Lengmang had shortly before the signing told the two tribes that the overall objectives of the symbolic event which was dated September 21, 2019 and facilitated by the agency was to demonstrate their commitment and wiliness in resolving all contentious issues of conflict between the two tribes with the view to promoting forgiveness and reconciliation with one another.
Mr, Lengmang said the sole aim of establishing the agency by Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State was for the promotion of peace and stressed the need for forgiveness and reconciliation amongst the people, saying they can never be development without peace.
The Director General while speaking on the significance of the day said that the United Nations (UN) had set aside a day for people to identified and promote the ideal of sustainable peace around the world.
He said that the theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Climate Action for Peace’ with a sub-title: Promoting healing, unity, forgiveness and reconciliation on the Plateau.
He added that Governor Lalong believes that if there was peace in Irigwe land, then it could also permeated to other parts of the state, and urged the Irigwe and Fulani to forgive, embrace and reconcile with one another, saying that doing so would also give hope for peace and reconciliation across the state.
“We hope that today’s choice of our meeting to celebrate the 2019 International Day of Peace is relevant and underscore the collective effort of the agency, traditional councils, Ardo’s, the media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and all other interested stakeholders who are working assiduously to promote the ideal of peace in Irigwe land and Plateau State as a whole ”, he said.
Mr. Lengmang noted that the day was a symbolic one because peace building is not an event, but rather a process which needs to be nurtured as it required trust and confidence of every part and sincerity of purpose.
Sector Commander, Sector 3Bassa LGA, Col. G.U Akpan advised both Irigwe and Fulani to embrace peace, saying “security is development while development is security”.
In their separate remarks, Brra Ngwe Rigwe, Rtd. Rev. Ronku Akah who was represented by the District Head of Miango, Chief Daniel Chega and the Fulani Ardo, Waziri Audu both expressed happiness and thanked the agency for the choice of their area for the celebration of this year’s International Day of Peace, describing the event as very apt and timely to them.
They also assured of their readiness to continue living in peace with one another, saying that the devil would not succeed in causing conflict between the two tribes again, adding that they have coexisted for many years within the locality.
They added that the signing of the expression of commitment of peace would further help in strengthening the reconciliation process between the two tribes.
National President Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Mr. Sunday Audu commended the agency for its effort, love and concern, especially for driving the wheel of success and progress by building peace in the state, stressing that “whoever does not like his fellow human being or kill is wicked”, adding that peace was an essential commodity for anybody who value’s another person’s life while on earth.
Our correspondent reports that the event also featured presentation of relief materials to the two tribes which includes salt, rice and detergent among others.