By Joy Odor
Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has identified mutual trust, fairness and justice, as essential ingredients of peace, without which the country will continue to grasp with the challenges of insecurity.
Engineer Sule stated this while flagging-off a two-day multi-stakeholders regional peacebuilding dialogue, for Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa states, among others, holding at the Taal Conference Hotel, on Tuesday.
Specifically, the governor identified lack of trust, fairness and justice among the people, as major constraints on peacebuilding initiatives, stressing that, as long as these essential attributes are lacking, the region will continue to face security challenges.
Engineer Sule therefore, called on the people of the region to work together, towards ensuring mutual trust.
While thanking organisers of the dialogue for choosing Nasarawa State to host the event, the governor, reiterated that there is no price for peace, adding that since his assumption into office, he has no relented in ensuring that there is lasting peace across the state.
According to Engineer Sule, there will not be development, without peace.
“I want to continue to call on everyone of us to work very hard, along with our security agencies, our royal fathers, major stakeholders, youths and women, to keep working to see how we can understand one another,” he said.
The governor explained that he chose to be at the event, even though his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, has been scheduled to attend the dialogue, mostly because of the significance of peacebuilding, especially with the challenges confronting the three states of Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue.
“Trust, justice and fairness are all ingredients of peace. We must work together to ensure that we trust each other,” he said.
Earlier in goodwill message, Barrister Istafanus Haruna, Chief of Staff to the Taraba State governor, noted that peace has eluded the three states of Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue, with each of them engulfed in crisis for a long period of time.
While appreciating all the efforts by the governments of the three states, aimed at creating synergy towards ensuring lasting peace in the region.
Barrister Haruna expressed hope that the two-day dialogue, will provide another opportunity to synergize, come together, talk as brothers, with a view to coming up a strategy that will help the three states consolidate through their various peacebuilding agencies.
Also in a welcome address, Christian Okafor, a representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the regional peace conference, organized in partnership with the West African Network for Peace Building Nigeria, with Imo, Plateau and Kaduna states also in attendance.
Okafor added that, the dialogue, which is being funded by the office of the UN Secretary General, was to support the states of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba, to sustain peace by consolidating on the efforts of the various state governments.
On her part, Bridget Osakwe, who represented the West Africa Network for Peace Building Nigeria, thanked Engineer Sule, for expediting action on the passage of the peacebuilding bill in Nasarawa State.
She said the dialogue will serve to strengthen existing peacebuilding mechanisms, build skills for conflict prevention and amicable resolution of conflicts.