In tandem with his call for unity and progress, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has urged the people of the state to embrace peace as the catalyst for sustainable growth and development. The governor conveyed this message on the occasion of the International Day of Peace 2023, themed “Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the Global Goals.” The event took place at the Crispan Hotel Jos and was organized by the Plateau Peace Media Network in collaboration with the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network, with support from Mercy Corps and USAID.
Represented by the Commissioner of Information and Communication, Musa Ashoms, Governor Mutfwang emphasized the critical role of peace in fostering progress, stating, “The message is centered on peace because, without peace, a lot of things cannot be achieved. If you have rocket science ideas and the environment is not peaceful and its ambience is not tranquil, then naturally you achieve little or nothing.”
He expressed gratitude to the organizers, particularly the United Nations, for spearheading the International Day of Peace, and called upon all citizens of the state to prioritize peaceful coexistence, making Plateau State a fertile ground for development.
The Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, who also attended the event, underscored the significance of peace for development. He remarked, “Peace is a prerequisite for development; all stakeholders must champion the cause of peace to make Plateau State, and by extension Nigeria, a safe haven for all.”
In his remarks, Mathew Tegha, the coordinator of the Plateau Peace Media Network (PPMN), highlighted the role of media in promoting peace and positive change. He stressed the importance of active engagement and action in maintaining peace, saying, “Today, let us confront these challenges head-on, but let us also seize the opportunities they present. Through our discussions and shared experiences, we can identify prospects for peace and innovative solutions to the challenges we face.”
Also hammering on the sub-theme of the day “Actions for Peace: The prospects and challenges for addressing the multidimensional crises in Plateau State,” he said it “acknowledges the complex landscape within our beloved Plateau State and underscores the urgency of addressing the multifaceted challenges that have impacted our communities negatively.”
Honorable OJ Afwanks, secretary of the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network (PPPN), acknowledged the longstanding conflict in the state since 2001. He attributed the continuing escalation of conflicts in the state to the lack of competency among various peace practitioners, both state and non-state actors.
The International Day of Peace 2023, championed by the Plateau Peace Media Network in collaboration with the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network, focused on the sub-theme: “Actions for Peace: The Prospects and Challenges for Addressing the Multidimensional Crises in Plateau State.”
Taiye Lucas of Mercy Corps encouraged citizens to commit to actions that would transform their desire for peace into tangible realities, making the International Day of Peace a celebration for all. Participants from various groups in the state shared their experiences and engaged in discussions on ways to promote peace.
The commemoration of the day which started with a peace walk, went on to climax with a town hall with notable stakeholders recommendations and resolutions reached.