Lalong commends HD’s contribution to peace building in Plateau

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has commended the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a Non governmental Organisation(NGO), for its contribution in the promotion of peace and peaceful coexistence in the state.
Lalong made the commendation on Tuesday at a roundtable on the implementation of peace agreements and relevant white papers in Plateau.
He was represented at the event by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden.
He said that he was full of gratitude the HD for the kind of productive partnership it had established with the Plateau State Peace Building Agency(PPBA).
“We count on such collaborative partnerships as it will help us collectively deliver on the promise of peace and security.
“As you know, there are limits to what the government can do unilaterally to deal with the kind of security challenges we are experiencing across country.
“This is why this roundtable is indeed very timely.
“Let me assure HD and other critical stakeholders of willingness to continue to collaborate with you through the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA),” the governor said.
He said he was aware of the enormous contributions that had been made by HD since 2013 in its dialogue processes in Northern and Southern zones of Plateau.
According to him, their efforts have produced far-reaching agreements and recommendations by community stakeholders.
Lalong said that effort was part of a broader intervention which was aimed at promoting trust-building and collaborative problem solving between security services and communities.
“I am glad to note that you have so far complimented government’s efforts by recording several successes both at community and institutional levels, especially in the area of managing everyday violence and improving community security.
“I crave indulgence as stakeholders to rededicate ourselves to the cause of peace by upholding the principles of systematic dialogue and collaborative partnership.
“These are two important elements upon which desire to turn a new leaf can be effectively anchored or sustained,” he added.
The keynote speaker,Elder John Gobak, said in his address, that the task of achieving peace in the increasingly divided society was a herculean endeavour.
Gobak said that Plateau people were witnesses to the modest successes the administration of Gov. Lalong had recorded in the state “against the pessimism of naysayers”.
He said that although intermittent eruptions of violence continued to take place within the state, Lalong remained committed to the ideals of peace.
“This has given hope to millions of citizens who were on the verge of despondency.
“Like I said, the signing of peace agreement and developing White Papers on same is a crucial step in search for peace, but the success ultimately lies in the implementation.
“We are fortunate to have a government that has demonstrated the will and courage to take the bull by the horn as long as it brings peace to the state.
“It is therefore pertinent for all the partners in this venture to join hands and surmount all difficulties to usher in an era of sustainable peace.
“Through government’s support, PPBA with its robust team of peacemakers, led by the Mr Joseph Lengmang, continues to play a crucial role in building peace within the length and breadth of this state,” he said.
Mr Joseph Lengmang, PPBA Director-General, said that the agency represented dedicated institutional framework for conflict prevention and peace building in Plateau.
Lengmang said that actions had been taken by the agency to resolve old conflicts and prevent new ones from happening in order to promote a stable and secure society.
“Today’s event is a demonstration of that commitment that the peace agency is working in partnership with HD that put together the roundtable.
“Building peace in sustainable way requires a robust partnership and coordination,” he said.
Dr Babatunde Afolabi, HD Regional Director, Africa (Anglophone & Lusophone), said that in the peacemaking and peacebuilding world, “we must be sincere to acknowledge that much remains to be done and that is the core reason for the gathering”.
Afolabi stated that stakeholders must be honest with themselves that much remained to be done in Plateau and in the to ensure that the mechanisms put in place to end the violence remained relevant in responding to current and future threats to peace and stability in this state.
“The best place to start is to undertake a review of the various peace agreements and white papers that are the expression of people’s aspirations to move from conflict to peaceful coexistence.
“These peace agreements, especially represent their own unique, codified, homegrown methods and approaches for addressing the root causes of conflict, conflict prevention, as well as diversity management in Plateau.
“Peace Research tells us that conflict parties renege upon peace agreements more than they honour them, and there must be reasons for that,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event also featured goodwill messages from Operation Safe Haven and the Nigerian Police Force who pledged their commitment in maintaining peace in Plateau.