From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), Mr Joseph Lengmang, has admonished journalists to use their various platforms to change negative narratives and promote peaceful co-existence in the state and beyond.
Mr Joseph Lengmang, the Director General of the agency gave the advice at an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday in Jos.
Lengmang disclosed this on Tuesday in Jos during an interactive session with journalists in commemoration of the 2021 International Peace Day on the theme “The quest for sustainable peace and justice: Wither the media”, held at the Crest Hotel Jos.
The DG who acknowledged the key role played by media practitioners toward promoting peace in the state urged for more deliberate efforts towards attitudinal change.
He attributed the relative peace currently being enjoyed in the state to the critical roles of journalists in dousing tension and educating the citizens.
Lengmang added that the agency through the media was able to get some early warning signs that have helped in nipping in the bud some situations that could have led to violent conflicts in the state.
‘We have put this event together as part of the celebration to mark this year’s international peace day; a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to celebrate peace.
‘We have decided to specially celebrate this day with the media because you are critical stakeholders in peace the building process.
‘The media plays a key role in promoting peace anywhere in the world, and this underscores the importance of this gathering.
‘We are most grateful to all the journalists on the Plateau for the support because through your reportage we are able to get some early warning signs.
‘The media is a strategic partner toward achieving lasting peace and so we urge you to continue with the good works
‘We urge you to continue to use your various platforms to counter fake news, ethnic and religious sentiments, mutual suspicion and promote issues that will entrench lasting peace and harmony in the state,’ he urged.
The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Plateau State, Chrysantus Ahmadu, said Governor Simon Lalong has always been at his best in resolving conflicts issues in the state.
He acknowledged the critical role of the media in deescalating conflicts and moulding opinion in society and called for more deliberate efforts towards supporting peaceful co-existence.
Ahmadu said the media should give adequate attention to issues that will unite the people and promote peace rather than dwelling on issues that will divide the state.
He explained that Governor Lalong signed into law the anti-land grabbing bill and inaugurated a task force to enable recovery and return of land that have been forcefully taken.
Commissioner for Information and Communication Hon Dan Manjang expressed gratitude over the role of the Media in the state towards peacebuilding.
He said the media has been very supportive in changing positive narratives in the state.
‘Today is a day of peace, is a day of cease fire and we appeal to Plateau people to embrace peace and encourage peaceful co-existence,’ he said.
He noted that if a comparative analysis on peace is done among states in the country, it will be established that Plateau is peaceful than most states.
The Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau State, Paul Jatau, assured that journalists in the state will always support every peace initiation.