By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos
The Nigeria Army under the auspices of the Special Task Force (STF) mandated to restore peace on the Plateau, some parts of Bauchi State and Southern Kaduna, on Monday held a peace dialogue meeting with stakeholders on the Plateau.
The meeting was aimed at halting the incessant crisis between herdsmen and farmers, that has hitherto bedevilled the State in recent times.
Speaking at the forum, the STF Commander, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, said the essence of the gathering is to hear from the community leaders the issues that has mitigated against the fragile peace being enjoyed and to reach a consensus of the best way forward to resolving the crisis.
The meeting which brought together Fulani herders and Bokkos community leaders on one hand and Iregwe, Maingo in Bassa LGA and Fulani herdsmen, on the other hand, witnessed the various divides ventilating their grievances and making fresh commitments to coexist.
Recall that scores lost their lives on the 24th of January 2018 in Josho village in Daffo Chiefdom of Bokkos LGA of Plateau, where more than 10 persons was also injured and dozens of houses razed down.
In that attack, the Daffo village Chief, Saf Dauda Maren had said the face-off was as a result of a land dispute over grazing space between some Fulani and native youths.
Similarly, also recall that Iregwe and Maingo in Bassa LGA have suffered casualties as a result of series of attacks between them and the Fulani herdsmen were over 35 persons lost their lives in a primary school late last year and recently where over five persons on daily basis have lost their lives, says the President of the Irigwe Community Development, Mr Sunday Abdu.
In his remark, the Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang, said it is imperative to coordinate and drive the process of peace from within.
According to him, the fabrics that holds our value has eluded us and it is important we retrace our steps back to the values we use to uphold.
“Peace process is all inclusive and it is important we tackle it from the grass root; the success of this meeting will be tied to the devotion of sincerity of purpose which without it we cannot achieve the peace we all yearn for.
“Security agencies can enforce peace but they can only maintain peace for only a short period but for the peace to be sustain, the community leaders in the troubled zones will have to play a major role”, he said.