Religious and Ethnic/Community Leaders Met in Jos on Thursday, 15th December 2016 at Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, Jos to review the security situation in the State as well as take proactive actions to ensure a violence free Christmas celebration in the State. High point of the meeting was the issuing of a communique which was signed by all present cutting across the different religious and ethnic groups in the State.
Details of the communique reads:
MEETING OF RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC/COMMUNITY LEADERS HELD AT THE DIALOGUE, RECONCILIATION AND PEACE (DREP) CENTRE, JOS SOUTH ON THURSDAY 15TH DECEMBER, 2016
Arising from a dialogue and consultative meeting of religious and ethnic/community leaders held on Thursday 15th December 2016, religious and community leaders noted that since our last meeting on Thursday 6th October, 2016, the following observations were made:
1. Religious and community leaders in Jos appreciate the opportunity provided to visit the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Barr. Simon Lalong to intimate him on the activities of the Centre. We feel the Government should live up to its promises made to these elders such as road construction, provision of power supply, the reconstruction of the Main Market, the Rukuba Road Satellite Market and the road linking it from Sabon Gari and Tudun Wada, as well as sending a representative from government to be part of DREP Centre’s meeting.
2. The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association reiterated their commitment to conducting sensitization among their people in rural communities on the need to live peacefully with their neighbors. They urged all groups to refrain from making media propaganda and stereotype against any particular ethnic group which could incite violence among our people. There is also a need to collaborate with one another stamping out criminality in our communities as this cuts across different groups, ethnicity and religion. We also call on government and security agencies to be more vigilant and proactive.
3. With ongoing security challenges across the State, we feel an urgent need to request the presence of security personnel from the police and STF in out meeting so as to shed light on security issues as well as take proactive decisions to forestall deterioration of security situation in our communities.
4. The successful hosting of the trade fair in Jos for fourteen (14) uninterrupted days is a clear indication that peace has come to stay. That does not mean that there are no criminal activities in our communities, we therefore call on security agents to fish out criminal elements who threaten the peace in the State, especially with the increased cases of kidnapping, abductions and killings. There is need for a change of mindset to avoid stereotyping certain ethnic or religious groups. The perpetrators are simply criminals.
5. There is also a need for citizens to distinguish between foreign machineries who invade our communities and the local Fulani who have been co-existing peacefully with their host communities, securities along our borders needs to be intensified as such foreign machineries fished out from our communities.
6. We call on all citizens to be security conscious and get to know their neighbors and what they do for a living.
7. We wish to remind our citizens of the present inflation and its biting effects on our people, we therefore call on citizens to share their goods with one another in charity.
8. We caution farmers not to sell their farm produce for money and to be prudent in its use for their families and friends.
9. Finally, as we approach the festive period, we caution our citizens to be security conscious and live peacefully with another and we wish all citizens merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
CATHOLIC SECRETARIAT OF NIGERIA (ARCHBISHOP I. A. KAIGAMA)
CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (REV. ADEYENI PETER K.)
JAMA’ATU NASIR ISLAM (ALH. YUSUF SARUMI)
KANAM EMIRATE COUNCIL (IBRAHIM JOSEPH ADAMU)
TEKAN/ECWA HQS (THOMAS W. HILDI)
BELWIDIC (ROBERT MARCUS)
BEROM COMMUNITY (DA N. Y. DANG)
YORUBA COMMUNITY (OBA SOLOMON A. OLUGBONI)
SOUTH-SOUTH COMMUNITY (CHIEF EWAREWAH)
MIYETTI ALLAH (MUHAMMED NURU)
IGBO COMMUNITY (PROF. J. E. C. OBILOM)
DREP BOARD (P. D. GUNAT)