Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Participants at a Community Resilience Forum held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, at the weekend have resolved to work together against the growing incidents of violence in the state by promoting peace.
The participants, who were drawn from different areas of the metropolis, reached the resolution during a one-day Makurdi Community Resilience Forum organized by NGO Next Generation Youth Initiative (NEGYII) in collaboration with CLEEN Foundation.
The mostly women and youth participants expressed sadness over the increased rate of violence in the middle belt state, especially incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen and other criminal elements, whose stock in trade is to kill, maim and destroy.
In his opening remarks, President of the NEGYII, Mr. Ambassador Onoja, said the Forum was set up to brainstorm with a view to addressing the huge challenge of growing violence and insecurity across the state.
He explained further that the initiative was meant for stakeholders to rub minds and to peacefully express grievances, with a collective approach towards solving problems.
“We are here to put our initiatives together to address the huge challenge of growing violence and insecurity in Benue State, which is a threat to all our individual and common interests as a people and community and capable of growing into extremism,” he said.
Onoja, harping on the need for peaceful coexistence in the state, said development and prosperity cannot occur in an atmosphere of violence, chaos, rancour and crisis, adding that peace can be achieved if everyone in the eye of the storm chose the path of harmony so as to build a common community where a threat to one becomes a threat to all.
“We want peace in our nation. We want peace in Benue State. We want peace for all citizens of Nigeria. We want peace for all citizens of the world. This is because the development and prosperity which all rational men seek cannot occur in an atmosphere of violence and chaos, ran our and crises,” he stated.