by Christiana Gokyo, JosFormer
PLATEAU STATE: Former Adviser on Peace and Conflict in Plateau State, Barrister Timothy Parlong, says there is an urgent need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to embark on deracination of the entire country from religious extremists and ethnic extremists before the country gets consumed by the various “red indicators” facing it.
Speaking as a guest speaker during a seminar held at the NUJ Press Centre in Jos, the State capital, Barrister Parlong suggested the constitution of Forum of Ethnic Nationals resident in the state and be holding meetings, which are going to serve as linkages between government and various communities as well as play significant roles in the area of security through intelligence gathering.
Speaking earlier, at the seminar, the Executive Director of Nerat Integrated Services-cum Managing Director of Peace Chef a nonprofit organization, Dr. Jonah Vings Lomak, said the organization has brought together stakeholders to chat a way forward in restoring the lost glory of Jos City 20 years after the September 7th 2001 crisis.
Dr. Lomak stressed that, the aim of the seminar was the restoration of lost glory of Plateau State and to come up with resolutions that will be implemented to help in curtailing crisis in the state.
He said, what they are doing is celebration of peace month and commemoration of Jos September 7th, 2001, and the International Peace Day coming up on the 21st September.
“We have a lot of programmes and hope that at the end of it we will be able to come up with a solution from the field and to implement them.
“This engagement will enable us gather sufficient ideas, strategies and solutions to the problems of Jos crisis, because we are determined we are going to implement them,” he noted.
Chairman of the occasion, Rev. Samuel Goro, recalled that the September 7th, 2001 Jos crisis has both Christians and Muslims involved in the wanton destructions of lives and property that left over 1,000 people killed in just six days of the crisis that broke out in a city that coexisted peacefully for years with one another.
He said “The violence in Jos coincided with the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in the United States.”
He lamented how government and security agencies over the years have been handling early warning signals in the state till date with levity.
“The state government adopted passive attitude and appeared not to take seriously the numerous, explicit threats issued by both indigenous and non-indigenous Muslim and Christian groups in Jos, in the weeks leading up to the crisis,” Rev. Goro noted.