…as Lalong handover faith based schools, unveils Gazette on creation of Districts, Chiefdoms

From Gyang Bere, Jos

The Sultan of Sokoto, his Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Archbishop of Abuja of Abuja, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama have harped on the need for free, fair and peaceful elections during the 2023 General Elections.

The duo disclosed this on Tuesday in Jos during the Plateau Day and Forgiveness Day 2023 convened by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, held at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos.

The Sultan admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love and forgiveness to one another and reiterated his commitment to ensuring peace not only in Plateau and Nigeria but in the whole world.

“I am here not only to our commitment to peace, not only in Plateau and Nigeria but peace in the world. I am a member of the National Peace Committees head by Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar and we have being doing alot to talk to politicians to ensure that they carry out their campaigns in a peaceful manner, making sure that they respect one another.

“If we know that it is God that gives power, why do we need to use our youths to round burning houses and abusing one another and at the end of it, only one person will be in Aso Rock as President, only one person will be in Government House and only one person will be Local Government Chairman in the respective Local Government Councils in the country.”

He admonished the political leaders to work closely and in collaboration with the traditional rulers for the enthronement peace and unity.

“The traditional council has every profession that you can think of, from Army Generals to Customs Controller Generals like the Gbong Gwom Jos, to Doctors, Engineers, Scientists among many others.

“So if we have all these class of people, why don’t the Governors and the political leaders use the council as a platform to reach out to the common man who are parts and parcel of our palaces to discipline and advise them.

“Traditional rulers are not and will not be a problem to our political leaders, there is not competition at all, we are just partners that want to help the country grow. We have had so many comments from politicians who come to see us in this political season.

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“What I tell politicians when they come to see me is, please go about your campaign peacefully. It brings us down and human being when we abuse and insult one another in the name of campaign.” He state.

The Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama expressed joy that peace has returned to Plateau and pray for the current peace to be  sustained even as the country move towards the 2023 elections.

“I remember the eminent personalities from different tribes and religion whom we worked together, each time we call for meeting they were all there to make contribution for the peace on the Plateau. I am here to say thank you for all you have done because we can now see and feel the peace in Plateau. I pray that the elections that are coming will be peacefully conducted, let’s not be divided, let’s not destroy properties just because of power.” He stated.

Governor Simon Lalong who unveiled the Gazette on the creation of Districts and Chiefdoms and admonished the beneficiaries to know that it is a burdens that they should uphold and promised to listen to the complaints of those who are aggrieved. 

He also unveiled Plateau anthem and the state’s Logo which he said would be officially sang after the national Anthem in schools, at events and in all radio and TV stations on Plateau people.

Speaking about the efforts of his administration to make peace, he said, “As we commemorate this day, my heart is filled with joy that our efforts have not been in vain because we can confidently say that we have laid solid foundation for peace, justice, equality, tolerance and hospitality. 

“With the support of our traditional, religious and community leaders, we have worked hard to substantially reverse the damage to our collective psyche and fractured inter-group coexistence which previously stunted our development and growth.This is possible through ensuring that justice, fairness and equity prevails irrespective of religious, tribal or other differences.

“The deep-seated level of mutual distrust, suspicion and hate that once characterized social relations between people of different ethno-religious backgrounds across Plateau State has greatly reduced to the barest minimum.

“This is a result of the hours, days, months and years of work put in by the Plateau Peace Building Agency which we established backed by law, as well as the Inter-Religious Council that was also inaugurated with top leadership of the Christian and Muslim faiths deeply involved.

” As we all know, forgiveness is strongly commanded in the Holy books and also well enshrined in most of our cultures and traditions. However, forgiveness is not an attribute of the weak, but the character of strong people who love God and are willing to walk in his ways. Those who embrace forgiveness and reconciliation as a Godly virtue do not do so pretending to erase the hurt and pains of a disappointment, but to find inner peace and strength to move on towards their purpose in life.” He stated.