Thursday, November 3, 2011

That Peace May Reign in Jos Again

Daily Trust
3 November 2011

Jideofor Adibe


I attended a strategy review conference on 'Peace in Jos: Arresting the Cycle of Violence' - a project hosted by the Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR), Jos, and sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). IGSR is led by eminent Nigerian political scientist, Professor (emeritus) J Isawa Elaigwu.

Some 200 participants, including former State Governors and Pauline Tallen, the popular former Deputy Governor of Plateau State and Labour Governorship candidate in the April 2011 gubernatorial election in the state, attended the event, which took place from October 23-26, 2011. The conference also attracted several retired top ranking army and police chiefs, former ambassadors, including the erstwhile Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, and a horde of top- flight academics.
Basically the conference wanted the participants to review its approach to a DFID-funded project it carried out in 2010 and 2011 on bringing peace to the once tranquil city. The project had several components, including Youth Peace Camps, (where it has so far trained over 2,500 youths in conflict management), Skills Acquisition (where over 290 youths have been trained in various vocations), Capacity-building for Security Agencies (where some 500 security agents have been sensitised on how to manage the ever recurring conflicts in the city), Football for Peace (where some 3,000 youths from four local governments have been engaged in football tournaments to promote peace) and Mediation (where it organises peace rallies and trains peace ambassadors for the city).

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