The Canadian government is set to spend $500,000 on the ongoing peace process in Plateau State.
The Jos Forum of the Swiss-based Centre is coordinating the peace initiative for Humanitarian Dialogue, with regional base in Nairobi, Kenya.
Perry Calderwood, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, who disclosed this on Monday, while visiting HD funded projects in the most endemic Plateau North senatorial district, said the principal objective of the project, entitled, Inter-communal Dialogue and Conflict Mediation in Jos, is to permanently change people’s perceptions and attitudes in conflict and crisis situations.
Calderwood said the project, which was being funded under Canada’s Office for Religious Freedom, is intended to bring communities together for dialogue and conflict mediation.
“The project is also meant to change people’s perceptions and attitudes in conflict and crisis situations both during and thereafter and to put in place sustainable mechanisms for implementing agreements reached and recommendations made,” he said.
Calderwood explained that the project, which is deeply rooted in the communities, serves and offers potential for long-lasting solution and stability in Jos.
At a meeting with representatives of the Berom, Anaguta, Afizere, South-South, Igbo, Fulani, Hausa and Yoruba communities that make up residents of Jos North, Gyang Pwajok, senator representing Plateau North, was moved to tears when he regretted that despite efforts to end the crisis it has continued unabated.
Pwajok said as recent as last week, many people were killed and houses burnt, adding that this has become a recurring decimal in the zone.
Referring to the fact that he became a Senator in 2012 because his predecessor, Gyang Dantong, died as a result of an attack in Riyom, Pwajok said, “I stand here as a child of circumstances. The conflict merchants are on duty working hard to set us back as we make efforts to move the peace process forward.”
He described peacemaking as a delicate process, with some people misinterpreting the intentions of the peacemaker.
Pwajok said he went round his constituency last month, visiting communities and giving relief materials only for the Berom, his own tribal group, to accuse him of arming Fulani people to attack others, just because the Fulani community happened to be among those he visited in the course of his tour.
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