Members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau State in collaboration with the military task force responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code-named Operation Safe Haven OPSH on Saturday, organised a walk to promote peace in the state.
The NUJ said the peace walk aims to sensitise residents, especially, youths, on the effect of drug abuse, which has become a push factor for violence threatening the peace in the state.
Speaking on the essence of the event, Chairman of the Chapel, Polycarp Auta, said, “Today’s event is sitting on a tripod; first to commend the efforts of the state government and the security agencies, particularly, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in their efforts to restoring lasting peace in our dear state.
“Secondly, to correct the impression, particularly among those outside Plateau, that the state is not peaceful.
“Also, this is organised as a recreational activity and because health is wealth, we are here to promote health by way of exercise.
“This is our modest contribution as journalists toward entrenching peaceful coexistence in the state. Beyond our reportage, this is a demonstration of our commitment toward a peaceful Plateau.
“We believe that the spate of drug abuse among residents, particularly young people, is a push factor for the violent conflicts threatening the current peace we are enjoying in the state.
“Hence, we seize this opportunity to also tell our youths to shun the consumption of illicit substances.
“We want to thank the Commander of OPSH, Maj.-Gen A.E. Abubakar, who graciously accepted to partner with us to organise this peace walk.
“We believe this is the beginning of our collaboration toward a peaceful Plateau.
“Dear people of Plateau, we must resolve to coexist in peace; Muslims, Christians, pagans, free thinkers, must work together to make Plateau a ‘Safe Haven’ for all”, Auta admonished.
Also Speaking, Team Lead, Strategic Communication Plateau Peace Building Agency PPBA, Mr Kenneth Dakop, said, “The Walk for Peace organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Plateau State Council in collaboration with the Military Task Force code named: Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) with particular focus on the menace of drugs and substance abuse, as well as, other social vices amongst the youth is apt given the devastating effect of the social malaise in communities.
“The PPBA has in the last seven years worked closely with critical stakeholders, including the media and other partners to check this menace.
“And we will continue to work with all relevant groups or individuals to further consolidate the peace being enjoyed across the state.
“We therefore charge community, religious and traditional institutions, security agencies and all people of good conscience to rise and work together to rid our communities and society of criminal elements and other enemies of our collective peace.
“The PPBA will continue to collaborate and partner with such stakeholders like the media particularly the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ in the State and, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) to build confidence, and repair broken relationships occasioned by the past ugly incidences while fostering social cohesion amongst the diverse ethnoreligious entities resident in the State”, Dakop stressed.
In his address, the Vice Chairman of the NUJ in the State, Pam Musa, commended the Chapel for organising the event, saying it was apt while urging other Chapels to emulate the Correspondents Chapel.
The walk took participants within various locations of Jos metropolis.