The Plateau State Peace Media Network (PPMN), a media initiative, on Thursday, commemorated the United Nations International Day of Peace, with a roundtable for stakeholders.
The event was organised by the association in collaboration with Mercy Corps, and sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) took place in Jos, the capital of the state.
It was aimed to change narratives to achieve lasting peace in the state, with stakeholders from the media, traditional rulers, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other representatives of different groups.
The International Day of Peace is celebrated every September 21, and the theme for 2023 is “Actions for Peace, Our Ambition For The Global Goals”
Mr Mathew Tegha, Coordinator of PPMN, while reiterating the importance of promoting peace as Journalists and citizens, noted that achieving tranquillity was a collective and continuous pursuit.
He noted that the conflicts in Plateau State had been multi-dimensional, adding that the situation also required a multi-dimensional approach to address it. “Today, we come together, not only to celebrate peace, but to reaffirm our shared commitment to building a world where harmony, understanding, and cooperation prevail.
“The International Day of Peace reminds us that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but a dynamic and collective pursuit, a journey that requires continuous effort, dialogue, and action.
“Our gathering today is further enriched by the sub-theme: “Actions for Peace: The Prospects and Challenges for Addressing the Multi-dimensional Crises in Plateau State.”
“This sub-theme acknowledges the complex landscape within our beloved Plateau State, and underscores the urgency of addressing the multi-faceted challenges that have impacted our communities,” he said.
Tegba noted that this was the first time journalists had gathered in the state to factor in how to promote the peace narrative, describing it as an effort worthy of note. “We must begin to look at our actions and inactions and how that has contributed to the peace in our communities, or how it has further led to the breakdown of law and order where we find ourselves.
On his part, Mr Taiye Lukas, Senior Programme Coordinator for the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP), emphasised that the roundtable was a deliberate attempt to re-awaken the public on the need for peace.
“This is a deliberate strategy for the CIPP project to ensure that people are aware of the importance of peace; it is to ensure that we live at peace with each other in the communities we find ourselves. “Issues would come, but let us sit down and resolve them.
The crises-ravaged Plateau State has suffered ethnoreligious clashes among different communities in the state led to the loss of thousands of lives and the destruction of property worth millions of naira in the last decade.