By MARTHA AGAS/PATIENCE ALIYU
Jos- Gov Simon Lalong of Plateau has cautioned Plateau people against using religion, politics and ethnicity to create divisions in the state .
The governor made the call at the Nzem Berom Cultural Festival on Friday at Rwang Pam Stadium Jos .
“We must never allow anyone use religion, politics or ethnicity to create division and destabilise our state.
“Over the past seven years, our rescue administration has committed so much resources and time to boosting security, building peace and encouraging reconciliation and forgiveness,” he said.
He urged the Berom people and other socio-cultural groups in Plateau, to give no room for criminals to sow seeds of hatred with the aim of causing havoc and destruction.
He said the theme of the festival, “Building the Present and Future: Activating the Economy and Politics in Beromland”, was apt as various political activities were being organised as Nigeria prepared for its general elections.
Lalong acknowledged the contributions of political actors from the Berom land and their critical roles in facilitating the development of Plateau State and Nigeria.
He urged the Berom people to continue to participate in the political discourse in Plateau and ensure the involvement of younger generation in all the electoral processes .
“We must teach the younger generation politics of service anchored on the right values emanating from our cultures and traditions that will foster honesty, accountability, tolerance, love and service to humanity,” he said.
He said he recently approved the creation of 268 districts , two chiefdoms and grading of five chiefdom as part of his commitment to fairness, justice and pursuit of inclusion and harmony.
He described the festival as a period of reflection for Berom people on the need for more commitment in preserving their rich culture and traditions, threatened by globalisation.
“Our languages in particular are the most vulnerable and we must work hard to preserve them,” he said .
The Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, said that the 40th anniversary of the festival which started in 1981, was being celebrated annaully to herald the rainy season in the region and pray for blesings, as Berom people were predominantly farmers and hunters.
He said the theme of the festival, Building the Present and future: Activating the Economy and Politics in Beromland’, was selected in view of world developmental dynamics, economic prospects and political trends.
Highlights of the festival were carnival procession, Music and dance, food, art exhibition and beauty pageant.(NAN)