The Director-General of the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), Mr Joseph Lengmang said Nigeria needs to start thinking towards the establishment of a National Peace Building Agency given the security challenges, trends of violence, and clashes being experienced in the country.
The DG PPBA said this when he hosted the executive members of the Plateau state Bloggers and Online Media Association led by the chairman, Comrade Friday Bako, on a courtesy visit in his office today in Jos Plateau State.
Mr Lengmang noted that the current happenings in the country will hardly go away even if the security institutions get more funding. He said that other countries including Ghana have taken the cue in setting up National Peace Building Agencies as such will speed up an interface with the people and help address grievances and build trust and understanding.
He said, “Peace Building is about working with people, Government cannot deliver on her Promises on Peace and Security unilaterally with the reality faced in the country today and that is why we are faced with so many security challenges in the country”.
“If we must! then we have to put people at the center of the efforts of peacebuilding as such underscores the significance of the vision of the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong when it comes to issues of peace and security in setting up the Plateau state Peace Building agency,
He commended the group on its efforts in dealing with the troubling trend of inflammatory statements, Dangerous speeches being splattered on the internet as such have overreaching implications not only for the society but even the psychology of young people. Also congratulating the group for making a significant contribution to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in Plateau state by combating hate speech and fake news as such it is partially undertaking the role of the Plateau Peacebuilding Agency which is to ensure the harmonious coexistence of all ethnoreligious groups that make up the state.
The DG noted that the virtual community is a huge and important community, therefore positive usage is not just about moving away from the menace of hate, it can be used positively to set the agenda for human progress and development.
He said with the huge potential social media presents, there are areas that will be exploited with the Agency partnering with the bloggers and online media practitioners and work closely with the association, develop an initiative especially with the strategic communications department, working together to deal with some of the social issues.
Comrade Friday Bako, chairman of the Plateau Bloggers and online Association in his opening remark, congratulated the state agency saddled with the responsibility of building peace in the state and the great strides being achieved by the Agency under the watch of the Director-General whom he described as pragmatic, competent and purpose-driven.
He said that the foresight of the plateau state governor, Simon Lalong was right in appointing a competent and worthy personality as the DG of the peacebuilding Agency.
Comrade Friday Bako, commended the DG and the entire management staff saying “the result of your relentless efforts can be felt with the gradual return of peace in Plateau state”.
He said the association as a professional group of seasoned bloggers and online media practitioners is geared towards professional reportage on the social media space in line with the ethics of the profession. And the association is also contributing in its own way of peacebuilding by controlling fake news and hate speech through the monitoring of platforms managed by its members.
He said the association is looking forward to synergizing with the Agency to see how they can better promote peace and the good efforts of the Government in developing the state for the benefit of all.
The Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) is an institutional framework established by law in response to the challenges of peace and security in the state. Their mandate is to promote the culture of peace and harmonious coexistence, among the various ethnoreligious divides on the Plateau.