By Polycarp Auta
Jos – The Plateau Government has appealed to the people of the state to eschew rancour and embrace its efforts aimed at achieving lasting peace in the state.
The Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Irimiya Werr, made the appeal on Monday at a peace walk held in Jos metropolis in memory of the victims of the 2001 Jos crisis.
The walk was organised by the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network of Nigeria (PPPN) in collaboration with Displaced Women and Children Foundation, Peace Direct.
According to Werr, government has made frantic efforts toward sustaining the peace being enjoyed in the state.
The commissioner described the creation of the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) by the current administration as one of the laudable steps taken to entrench peaceful coexistence in the state.
“You all know that the PPBA, saddled with the mandate of promoting peaceful coexistence among the citizens of the state, is the brainchild of this regime.
“The creation of the agency has brought about the peace we are currently enjoying. For sometime now, the state has been peaceful.
“Government, no doubt, is making serious efforts to ensure that lasting peace is achieved. A lot of resources had been invested in that regard.’’
He said that the government alone could not do it, adding: “We need the support and the cooperation of the citizens to achieve the peace that we all desire.
“Plateau people must know that without peace we cannot develop, no investors will come to the state to invest, our children cannot go to school and families will be in jeopardy.”
Werr admonished the youth to eschew violence and embrace peace in order to avert a repeat of the 2001 ugly situation that led to the loss of lives and property in the state.
He also advised religious and community leaders to always preach peace among their subjects and engage in actions that would foster togetherness in their domains.
The Chairman of PPPN, Mr Mugu Zakka, said that the peaceful walk was organised to remember those who died during the 2001 crisis.
He said that the objective was to preach peaceful coexistence to residents of the state.
Zakka, who called on the state to declare every September 7 as Plateau Peace Day, advised the state government to intensify efforts toward peace building among the rural communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the walk commenced from the Old Airport Roundabout to Secretariat Junction within Jos metropolis. (NAN)