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Forgiveness crucial ingredient for peaceful coexistence – DG


The Director-General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengmang, on Sunday identified forgiveness as a crucial ingredient for peaceful coexistence in the society.

Lengmang stated this in an interactive session with newsmen in Jos in commemoration of the State’s Forgiveness Day which is celebrated on Feb. 7.

It was reported that Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau had on Feb. 7, 2019 inaugurated the ‘Garden of Forgiveness’ in Jos and declared the day as Day of Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

The director-general said that even though issues that plunged the state into crises were not completely resolved, there was need to forgive one another for peace to reign.

“We have made significant progress but we still have a long way to go, we have a long way to go because of the issues that are still troubling us.

“It is our believe that success of the post-conflict peace building process is fundamentally tied or determined on how much the people are willing to let go.

“If we keep hurting, if we keep playing what happened in our heads, it is very possible that we will continue inadvertently to perpetrate like a vicious circle of violence in our state.

“The whole idea behind the forgiveness day is to look at ourselves, ask ourselves hard questions, having come this far, where do we want to go from here.

“How do we agree to open that new chapter with a view to bequeath a stable and secure society for our children and their own children going forward.

“The most important thing that can happen to any family is to bequeath a legacy of peace to his or her own children and it is in the context of this that we are commemorating this day of forgiveness,’’ he said.

Lengmang added that the Gov. Simon Lalong had in his wisdom set out the day for the people to think and have deep reflection of what happened and begin to reach out to build relationships and heal the hurts of the past years.

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The director-general said that the commemoration of the day started with Juma’at prayer on Friday and Church service on Sunday.

According to him, since the this year’s day is a Sunday, Lalong will address the people of the state on Monday being Feb. 8.

He appreciated the media for their contributions to the success of post conflict peace and sustaining same, and urged them to remain advocates of peace.

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Lengmang noted that their efforts and commitment as ambassadors of peace had greatly assisted in peace building.

The Executive Secretary, Plateau Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abdullahi Awal, commended the ingenuity of Lalong for establishing the Peace Building Agency.

Awal pointed out that through the efforts of the agency, significant progress had been made to restore peace in the state.

“It behooves on all of us to forgive one another truthfully.

“As we try as human beings and keep failing, we must keep trying and we need to forgive one another,’’ he said.

Hajia Lantana Abullahi, a crises victim, said that she was proud of the progress so far made in the restoration of the peace in troubled communities.

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Abdullahi expressed appreciation to the state authorities for taking steps to restore Plateau to its lost glory as Home of Peace and Tourism.

She noted that women and children were the most affected during crises situations and urged the agency and the state to give special attention to women and children in the post-conflict efforts.

Thomas Dagyang, another victim and the Ward Head of Gyel Community in Jos South, urged the people to learn how to de-emphasise things that would create divisions among the people and emphasise on things that would bring unity among them.