The leadership of the Taraba state chapter of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) have called on all hands to be on deck to work for and build peace in the state.
The Association made the appeal on Thursday via it Chairman, Bala Bako, at the first Taraba peace summit organized by the Northern Peace Foundation in commomeration of the 2020 International Peace Day held at Jolly Nyame Stadium Jalingo.
Bako who is also the Chairman of Ibi LGA said, the summit has become imperative following the deepening violent conflict that continue to jeopardize peaceful coexistence and harmonious living in parts of Taraba especially the southern part of the state.
He believed that social and economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace, certain that the summit will not only avail Tarabans the opportunity to brainstorm and share actionable ideas that could engender peace “in their beloved state.
The ALGON Boss, was also optimistic that participants which includes traditional rulers, security agencies, various youth groups, civil society organizations among others would elicit inspiration to both “shift grounds and embrace inter-ethnoreligious tolerance, harmony, forgiveness and reconciliation by all conflicting parties.”
He observed that the summit is coming up at a very apt and significant time, when all lovers and advancers of peace the world over are engaging and organizing for peace in commomeration of the year 2020 International peace day.
The summit as affirmed by him will give rise to a clear cut direction for concerted efforts, inter-level synergy, personal, organizational and state level in building peace and sustainable peace in our dear state.
Also affirming that ALGON under his leadership is poised to leaving a more peaceful Taraba state, moving forward, such a dream, as stated by him, has compelled the association to increased partnership synergy with security agencies and all community level stakeholders across the state.
More to the collaboration to foster peaceful coexistence among all and sundry, ALGON, according to him will “also partner and collaborate with Northern Peace Foundation and the state Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to explore and harness the potentials of peace and unity inherent in sports.”
Comrade Tony Horsefall, the Executive Director of Northern Peace Foundation advocated for the state government to establish an institution that would be responsible for peace building.
According to him, if establish the agency, it would go along way in ensuring synergy between all stakeholders comprises security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders among others.
Other speakers at the summit which includes the leadership of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the traditional institution, Civi Society Organizations (CSOs), all agreed that peace is the only panacae for development.
Urging all and sundry to give the state Governor, Darius Ishaku, all the needed helping hands to herald the much desired growths to the state, they tenaciously held that “we should not allow religious, tribes and political differences to tear us apart.”
The speakers however, suggested that all hands must be on deck in order to ignite back the peace which they observed have eluded the state, noting that conflicts have dragged the state several miles backward.