• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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News Central Town Hall series addresses violence and conflict in Plateau State

News Central Town Hall series addresses violence and conflict in Plateau State

The News Central special town hall series took things a notch higher as the television station facilitated a live town hall broadcast to address the growing concerns of violence and ethnic conflicts in Plateau state, North Central Nigeria.

For over 20 years, the conflict in Plateau State has claimed the lives of thousands across several local governments including Bokkos, Mangu, Riyom, Wase, Birkin Ladi, and more. The crisis has escalated over the past decade, leaving residents and indigenes in a heightened state of fear. The town hall, according to a statement brought together community leaders, residents, members of various communities, representatives of security agencies and more to share their experiences, concerns, and solutions toward addressing the root causes of the violence and conflicts in the state.

The event was held in Jos, the state capital with the discussion moderated by News Central’s Bernard Akede, a seasoned journalist and expert in conflict reportage. Notable remarks from the town hall revealed the root of the strife across communities and the level of division that Plateau had experienced.

The Governor of Plateau State, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang, was represented by the State Commissioner of Information, Musa Ashoms who commended News Central for its bravery in covering the events of the state.

In his remarks, the governor’s representative said, “As a government, we have empowered a peace-building agency to dialogue, interface, interact, and heal wounds among communities on the Plateau who have been injured. It is a sad commentary that while many beautiful things are happening on the Plateau, some media outlets are not interested in promoting them. Once a life is taken, the headlines are exaggerated.”

However, there were heated accusations and counter-accusations from major stakeholders in the course of the town hall. One such accusation came from the representative of the Berom community, Gyang Chollom, who stated that “since March 2010, the Fulanis have single-handedly taken over the attacks. Many villages have been attacked and taken over since then. This is not community violence.”In light of these and other accusations, a representative of the Fulani community, Saleh Bago responded with claims that “Plateau locals discriminate against the Fulanis. If we desire peace, we must confront the reality. The Fulanis are denied opportunities to hold significant political positions. We must collectively address these issues in Plateau State. Plateau locals are self-serving, and if they abandon this attitude and befriend the Fulanis, peace will prevail in Plateau.”

News Central’s Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Kayode Akintemi, appreciated the Executive Governor of Plateau state and expressed hope for the furtherance of peace in the state. He also met privately with the General Commanding Officer of the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army in Plateau State, Major General Abdulsalam Abubakar, who is actively involved in the resolution of conflict in the state.