Christians and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), among other stakeholders in Plateau state, have called on the federal government to improve on the security situation in the state in order to facilitate quick return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their villages.
Speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) in Jos, the state capital, both groups called on the government to provide security and provide necessary assistance to enable the victims of attacks living in various IDPs camps to return to their villages.
Audu Markus, a cleric and member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called on government to ensure security of lives and property, adding that where justice is absent, peace will become a mirage.
Elder Daniel Gashish said they are still at a loss why the Fulani who had lived with them peacefully for several years would embark on killing them without a cause, adding, “We lived peacefully with the Fulani and suddenly we woke up on June 23 and 24, 2018 and found ourselves being attacked. We do not want to live in IDPs camps any longer. We want to return to our villages”.
Legal Adviser to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Plateau State Chapter, Barr Sani Isah Mohammed, expressed deep sympathies with victims of the attack and said MACBAN totally condemns attacks on villages and called for improved security before the displaced people return to their villages.
“This is the first time I am coming in contact with people who have been attacked, and I deeply sympathise with them. The only way out for this violence is for all to give peace a chance and work towards achieving peaceful resolution of the crisis,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Head of the IDFP advocacy visit to Plateau State, Amir Mohammed Jameel Mohammed, thanked speakers for the frank views expressed during the meeting, saying, “We are assuring you that all these views will form part of our final report on how to end the crisis. As a forum, we are committed to collaborating with all stakeholders and relevant partners to end this crisis”.
“We have met with relevant security agencies and other groups over the resolution of this crisis. The IDFP, with the active support of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue, globally known as KAICIID Dialogue Centre based in Vienna in Austria, have so far visited Zamfara, Benue and now we are in Plateau state. We have obtained vital information and interacted with people to seek solutions on this matter.
The end to this crisis is in sight,” he said.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the visit, Rev Zaka Ahuche Peter, called on Nigerians to stand up for peace, adding that true peace can only come from the hearts of men and women who have been hurt.
“We have visited places and interacted with people. We are happy that all groups are tired and want to see an end to the crisis. Considering what we have seen and heard, Plateau and other states are set to witness a return to peace in no distant future,” he said.
Some of the groups that attended the town hall meeting included the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) and MACBAN among others.