By Chijioke Kingsley
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Special Military Task Force in Plateau State has said empowering youths through sports will aid reduction of tension between different ethnic groups living in the State.
The Taskforce codenamed Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), said the initiative seek to address the deep-rooted prejudices and stereotypes between different ethnic minorities that have led to violence, and also to promote social inclusion.
The OPSH Commander Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Ali stated this Saturday in Jos during a grand finale of Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Iraboh marathon/football peace tournament, held at Rwang Pam Township Stadium.
Gen. Ali said the rule of engagement of the OPSH permits it to fully deploy civil-military relations within it’s areas of operation of which sports is one of them.
“We will continue to explore all available avenues in deepening peace within our area of jurisdiction.
“Peace through sports is a project in which young people in conflict areas of northern Nigeria can use sports as a platform for peacebuilding while learning skills to help them secure employment”, the Commander said.
However, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Iraboh, represented by Air Commodore Patrick Yekwe while commending OPSH for the well thought initiative, call on the participants to use the tournament to foster peace and security in their locality.
Our correspondent reports that the peace marathon and football competition saw the participating athletes cutting across the 17 Local Government of Plateau, some parts of Kaduna and Bauchi States.