Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Following recent religious crisis in Jalingo the Taraba State capital where two persons were killed, several others injured and houses destroyed, the Dephee Peace and Community Development Initiative (DPCDI) in collaboration with Arise Africa Youth International Initiative (AAYII) on Saturday organized a round table discussion for youth on interreligious tolerance in a bid to identify the issues and proffer lasting solutions.
The Executive Director of DPCDI Mr Bulus Audu Daniel in his remarks noted that the religious dimension that the Endsars protests in the country took and the recent religious crisis in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital where two persons were reportedly killed has become a cause for worry and call for proactive actions to disabuse the minds of especially the youth.
Daniel said that while conflict resolution efforts often focus on leaders in the society, little attention is often paid to the youth who are the most active participants in this crisis.
“We are all too aware of the recent crisis that took place in Jalingo where two persons were reportedly killed and huge destruction done. This, from what we were able to gather, started as a mere misunderstanding between two young people but quickly assumed a religious dimension, leading to the Carnage we saw.
“We are also equally aware that the Endsars protests which started against police brutality that cuts across religious borders also assumed a religious dimension that could have potentially led to even greater mayhem. With such indicators staring us in the face, it is only natural that we take proactive measures to nib these issues in the buds before we are all consumed”.
The Executive Director of AAYII Mr. Ahmed Ayuba Ahmed noted that for any meaningful development to take place, peace is a basic prerequisite and all stakeholders must make deliberate efforts to ensure peace and stability at all times so that they can hold the government accountable when it fails to provide the needed development.
“This year has been a very difficult one for all of us. Historic unpleasant events claimed the lives of our beloved ones. Some of these events are natural. But some were avoidable. We are here to look at issues that concern our collective responsibilities with regards to our peaceful coexistence. Any meaningful development can only happen in the atmosphere of peace.
“The aftermath of Endsars protests presented a complex situation of division and mutual suspicion that has shaken our ethnic religious setting. The situation could have been worse. The one thing we can not allow a chance is religious crisis. We must all therefore unite and become agents of peace building in our respective communities and discourage any acts capable of breaching our peace. We must not be agents of destruction in whatever guise. Peace is sacrosanct” Ahmed said.
Sunday Sun reports that the participants drawn from various sectors of the society among the Christians and Muslims all resolved to work for peace after identifying ignorance and religious intolerance as causative factors for ethnoreligious crisis in the country.