By G9ija

The Plateau Peace Building Agency has organised a media roundtable to commemorate the International Day of Peace where journalists, state officials and members of the civil society deliberated on how to ensure ‘sustainable peace and justice in the society.

The event which took place on Tuesday had as its theme: The Quest for Sustainable Peace and Justice ‘Wither the Media’.

In a special remark, the Plateau State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chrysantus Ahmadu, highlighted cultism, kidnapping and land grabbing as the crimes plaguing the state.

He disclosed that the governor had already signed the Anti-Land Grabbing Law and a task force was in place to implement the Law.

Responding to the general perception that the government has abandoned its displaced people as a result of recent crises, the Commissioner said there were processes in place in recovering lands that have been taken over by ‘land grabbers’.

Ahmadu said the issue surrounding the recent crisis between the Irigwe and Fulani was more complex than what is being presented to the public. He added that the objective was to ensure that communities agree on a formula for co-existence and that the government is proactive in looking at the fundamental issues in order not to have any excuses.

He said the collective effort was needed to achieve peace and described peace as the “product of a conscious decision which doesn’t come on a platter of gold”.

Citing the 2001 Jos crisis, Ahmadu said the crisis was sparked by the perception that some people have been oppressed and that the issue was economic and not ethnic or religious.

He also spoke on the role of the media which he said can’t be overemphasized.

If the reports were done in a balanced way, there would be peace.

Ahmadu described the media as one that moulds perception and therefore advised the practitioners to build “positive narratives” and educate the people so that there would be peace.

Earlier in his welcome address, Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengmang, appreciated the media for its contribution to peace on the Plateau, explaining that the agency’s work had been made easier by the media.

Describing the media as a “strategic partner”, Lengmang was optimistic that the partnership can be strengthened.

He also thanked Gov. Simon Lalong for his efforts at sustaining peace in spite of actions of agents of division.

In his remarks, the Plateau State Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang said, comparatively, the state was much better than others.

He, however, advised that trauma healing be incorporated into the peacebuilding and conflict resolution efforts.

Also, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau State, Paul Jatau, admitted that journalists were doing well in conflict reporting but for some “black spots”. He promised that NUJ would improve in that aspect.

Highlights of the occasion was a panel discussion moderated by Steve Aluko, a member of the civil society, with the NUJ Chairman, Paul Jatau and former NUJ Chairman, Yakubu Taddy as discussants. Other discussants were veteran Journalist Yemi Kosoko, among others.