Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has promised to ensure that total peace returns to the state before his tenure expires in 2023.
The governor made the pledge while declaring open a one-day training organised by the Plateau Peace Building Agency, PPBA, for a Peace and Security Committee, constituted to address security challenges in Miango Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, Lalong said peace was part of the cardinal philosophy of his administration.
He said peace is priceless, hence the need for all hands to be decked toward achieving it.
He said that he took over the mantle of leadership when the state was deeply enmeshed in crisis, thanking the people for cooperating with his government to ensure the relative peace being currently enjoyed in the state.
“I am passionate about achieving lasting peace in all parts of Plateau; peace is our common wealth and we must work assiduously to achieve it.
“Sustainable peace is one legacy I want to leave behind for Plateau people, because we can only progress as a people when we have a peaceful state.
“We took over the government when the state was boiling; killings here and there, but with the cooperation of the people of the state, we are currently enjoying relative peace.
“We are not yet there, and this is why we need a community-based approach in tackling insecurity in our various communities,” Mr Lalong said.
He thanked members of the committee for accepting the challenging task, and urged them to be wary of “crisis merchants” while discharging their functions.
In a welcome remarks, Joseph Lengmang, the Director-General of the agency, said the training was aimed at equipping members of the committee with the basic knowledge of mediation.
Mr Lengmang said the training was organised in collaboration with Mercy Corps, an International Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO.
He said that the committee, which was constituted a few months ago, was aimed at addressing the ongoing killings in Maingo land.
He thanked the governor for his commitment in fostering sustainable peace and tranquility in the state.
Also speaking, Sani Suleiman, Deputy Chief of Party, DCOP, of Mercy Corps, said there was no better way of addressing conflict than having a structure at the community level.
According to Suleiman, his organisation is implementing a project tagged “Community Initiative to Promote Peace” in Plateau and other states of the federation.
He said that the project was being funded by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the peace committee is being chaired by Chief Richard Adams.