By Shehu Abbas Lafia
Nasarawa state government is to establish a peace building agency to address cases of farmers herders clashes and other communal conflicts across the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on NGOs and Development partners Mrs Munirat Abdullahi made this known while addressing participants at a sensitisation workshop for the actualisation of the agency in Lafia.
Correspondent Shehu Abbas reports that the advocacy forum was organised by the Nasarawa state government in collaboration with the UNDP and WANEP to create awareness and support for the establishment of the proposed agency.
The Advocacy Forum which drew about seventy five Civil Society organisations, Religious and Traditional leaders, opinion leaders as well as local government Chairmen in the state was aimed at bringing together critical stakeholders to brainstorm and put finishing touches to the proposed agency and onward submission to the state Assembly for legal backing.
Mrs. Munirat Abdullahi said the forum was to harmonise report and suggestions from stakeholders towards bringing lasting solution to conflicts across the state and ways to ensure peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic nationalities.
The special adviser stressed the commitment of the government effort towards ending crisis in the state, hence the need to draw support of stakeholders for the proposed peace building agency.
The project officer of United Nations Development Programme coordinating Nasarawa and Taraba states Mr. Okafor Christian said the UNDP is playing a key role in assisting the state government on conflict assessment, peace infrastructure and economic empowerment among others.
Mr. Christian maintain that UNDP and other developing partners visited the states for and advocacy to interact with state governors in order to achieved set objectives of peace building projects in states from the North Central region.
The UNDP project officer expressed satisfaction with the support his Organisation is getting from the state government and WANEP towards success of the project.
The National Coordinator of the West Africa Network for Peace Building WANEP Mrs Bridget Osakwe emphasised the need for people to support the project for the return of peace in crisis areas.
Some participants at the occasion chairman Miyatti-Allah Cattles Breeders Association Nasarawa state Alhaji Muhammad Hussaini and Musa Salisu from the All Farmers Association Nasarawa state chapter promised to support all peace building initiative by the state government and development partners for enduring peace, growth and development of the state and the country at large.