By Polycarp Auta
Jos – Some Muslim and Christian youths from various communities in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau met over lunch on Saturday to discuss ways of promoting peaceful coexistence in the area.
The lunch was at the instance of a group, Jos Stakeholders Centre for Peace (JSCP), a group, aimed at curbing violence extremism among young people in the communities.
Declaring the event open, the Chairman of the group, Mr Ghondi Steven, said that the initiative was aimed at bridging the existing issues of discord that had often degenerated into chaos in the area.
Ghondi expressed the group’s determination to work assiduously toward ensuring that peace returned to Jos in spite of the religious and ethnic differences among residents.
“Jos used to be a beautiful city – a place that was the envy of many within and outside Nigeria.
“But crisis has destabilised everything.
“Today people live in isolation in Jos and we cannot make any meaningful progress as a society without peaceful coexistence.
“It is my firm belief that with Christians and Muslims coming together to wine and dine, and discuss possible ways of achieving lasting peace, we are gradually returning to the good old days.
“It is my prayer that after this gathering, all of us here will be peace ambassadors in our various communities,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Jacob Pwakim, a Consultant at Search for Common Ground, and the Youth Coordinator at Collaboration for Violence Prevention, described the initiative as a community-driven approach to preventing violence.
Pwakim added that the initiative would change the perspective of many residents of Jos and ensure sustainable peace in the area.
He urged the people in the area to work toward ensuring peaceful coexistence in their communities.
According to him, no foreigner will do it for them if they do not make any effort. (NAN)