By Mpaka Numbere
Returning Plateau State to its ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’ status has been one of the major tasks the Governor Simon Bako Lalong led administration took upon itself when sworn in as Governor of the state in 2015.
Although the beautiful city of Jos has experienced a number of crises between September 2001 and 2010, steps taken by the Lalong led government has proved that the era of violent clashes is indeed over.
To show his commitment to maintain Peace and Security, the government of Simon Bako Lalong set up the Plateau Peace Building Agency, headed by a young and vibrant man, Mr Joseph Lengmang, and the agency was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that proactive steps are taken to prevent crisis.
The agency created by the Governor Lalong’s administration and a first of its kind in Nigeria to address the challenges of peace and security in the state with a view of consolidating on the existing peace and to partner with all relevant stakeholders for a sustainable peace and security within the state.
The peace building agency thus formed an institutional framework for responding to peace and security challenges within the state. The agencies approach to maintain a sustainable peace and security within the state can be said to be a diversion from the traditional medium of peace and security.
Thus in the wake of the mild unrest within the Jos metropolis on the clash between individuals believed to be supporters of IPOB and some Hausa settlers in Jos on September 14, 2017, the government swung into immediate action by declaring curfew in the affected areas just hours into the start of the misunderstanding (an action that barred escalation), consequently guaranteeing the security of lives and properties.
Furthermore, the Governor immediately summoned a meeting with stakeholders in security and peace to address the underlying factors that resulted to the crisis and conflict situation.
The Governor also held close door meeting with stakeholders in plateau state and the minister of interior paid an unscheduled visit to the state.
In attendance were the leaders of all the tribes resident in Jos metropolis and security operatives. In the meeting, Gov. Simon Bako Lalong vowed to do everything humanly possible to consolidate on the peace that Plateau people have been enjoying since the coming up of his administration in 2015.
This unreserved commitment by the Governor Lalong’s administration has led to the promotion of harmonious coexistence among ethnic/communities within Jos and it’s environ.
It is therefore important to state that the governor of Plateau state has appreciated the fact that no meaningful development can thrive in a chaotic environment and the move by the Governor has set the stage for a sustainable peace on the Plateau and it is now obvious that Peace in Plateau state is non-negotiable.
Indeed the confidence the masses had in the leadership of the state has now doubled as the era of provocation and crisis is over, lives and properties are secured as the government now show practical concerns in ensuring sustainable peace.