Through the conflict management initiative, the Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management in partnership with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), established committees to foster social cohesion by building bridges between diverse religious, ethnic, political, and regional communities in Taraba and Benue States. The project was funded by KAICIID. The project aims to establish institutions for conflict management and resolutions.
During the stakeholders’ peace dialogues with traditional leaders, the Ter Ukum and Chairman, Ukum Local Government Traditional Council, Sankera, Benue State, HRH. (Arc.) Orkaa Kaave (KSJI)), the Uko Bede of Bete (Takum), HRH. (Dr). Edward L. Mikeri, and the Hakimi of Avyi (Wukari), Manu David Maiyaki applauded the initiative and the importance of the intervention from partners especially at the time when the border communities in the two states are battling with disunity, mass displacements and resettlement challenges, gender-based violence, kidnapping and armed banditry, religious intolerance, drug abuse, inter-communal crisis, youth boom, and other anti-social activities in our communities. ‘’Religion promotes peaceful co-existence and we must appreciate our culture, traditions and religions as important for peace” – Mallam Zubairu Umar (Muslim Council, Wukari). “Education is key to preaching of peace and mutual co-existence and interdependence” – Rev. Bulus Gani (CAN Chairman, Wukari). Traditional and religious leaders, Women and youths demonstrated commitments during the dialogues as cross-cutting issues were and recipes for peace were advanced “We are happy the women too are here with their spouses to also discuss peace with us. We must touch all areas without sentiments for a better cohesion” said HRH. (Arc.) Orkaa Kaave (KSJI) (Ter Ukum and Chairman, Ukum Local Government Traditional Council, Sankera, Benue State).
Over 380 beneficiaries have been engaged with, sensitized, and educated on social cohesion in Wukari, Ukum and Takum Local Government areas. Majority of these are youths and women. The Foundation had put in place mechanisms for continued interface between the interlocutors across the states and region to sustain the already achieved results. These initiatives have been widely accepted and supported by stakeholders in the states, including the Governments of the two States. “We are indeed grateful that the Foundation and the donors came to us with this timely and unique intervention which is inclusive and interactive; we shall continue to carry all stakeholders along to ensure total peace returns back to our communities” said Mallam Abubakar Na-Aruhu (Muslim Council, Takum). “Nobody can live in isolation. We need each other to foster peace and development in our community and society at large.” – Most Rev. Dr. Charles Michael Hammawa, Catholic Bishop of Jalingo Diocese and Chairman, Board of Directors, Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management (FPHCM).
To further enhance peaceful coexistence and as part of the Foundation’s intervention in Wukari local government are of Taraba state, a community youth cultural and sports festival was done to empower the youths, and this brought together a large number of persons to showcase and appreciate their culture once again.
Prof. Rev. Fr. Anthony Ibrahim Bature (Executive Director, Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management (FPHCM) – Nigeria), during the dialogues in Taraba and Benue, enumerated the objectives of the project, with the funding through KAICIID, a joint collaborative on peace and social layers of the societies. He also emphasized the need for states and all actors’ commitments to amplify mutual co-existence initiative and structures to provide effective solution to a lasting peace in Nigeria. “Religious and ethnic divides place social cohesion at risks in the states, region and country”. Instruments of intervention by different actors and partners would significantly result in the efforts to foster social cohesion and coordination among stakeholders. Education and dialogue of this nature must take a central stage as these would minimize the phenomenon of violence, extremism and inter-tribal divides.
For further information, please contact:
Foundation for Peace, Hope and Conflict Management (FPHCM)
Prof. Rev. Fr. Anthony Ibrahim Bature – +2348038780565.