Gyang Bere, Jos
The Executive Director of Youth Initiative Against Violence and Human Rights Abuse (YIAVHA), Pwakim Jacob Choji, has commissioned 50 Youth Inter-Faith Peace Ambassadors in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State to deescalate violent protest and crisis in Muslim and Christian communities in the State.
Choji did the inauguration Saturday in Jos, the Plateau State capital, during a one-day youth workshop on community organising, technology for peace and review of Inter-Generational Story Telling (IGST), held in Jos.
He said the Youth Peace Ambassadors who are drawn from both Christian and Muslim communities in the State are entrusted with the task of educating and enlightening youths who were born during the 2001 Jos crisis to shun violence and embrace peace.
‘Over the years, politics has being the bent of our development and has resulted to crisis in Jos and Nigeria; and based on our finding due to wrong stories or stories that are not told of collaborative way of politics which has caused violence in the State.
‘We have brought together young people with energy who in our analysis are found to be key actors; we all have our own religion and ethnic groups but we insist that when it comes to state issues we have to drop our religion and ethnicity to enable us get things right.
‘We also come up with this initiative because over the years when you hear of Jos, what comes into your mind is crises but today if we increases the usage of the social media to promote peace and advise peace initiatives, we will be building an environment of hope for young people in the State.’
The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Alicho Christopher, said the programme tagged Faith-PLUS has recruited 600 violent youths in 20 communities in Jos North Local Government Area and reawakened their consciousness on the need to eschew violence.
He said those youths now embrace each other alongside different religious and ethnic groups for peace to deescalate the issues of ‘No Go Area’ in the State.
Christopher noted that the exercise has dismantled the issues of ‘No Go Areas’ in the State which emerged as a result of the 2001 crisis where Christians could not go to Muslim communities and vise versa.
A resource person, Charles Dickson, who delivered a talk on understanding technology for peace and the essence of community collaboration, urged the youths to deploy the use of social media to advise peace.
He noted that the #EndSARS protest was possible nationwide due to the use of technology and admonished the youths to take it advantage to promote peace initiatives in their local communities.