Jalingo, Taraba State, Nigeria – November 24, 2023
In a significant step towards lasting peace in Taraba State, Nigeria, communities have signed a peace accord following a two-day peace summit organized by the Taraba Independent Peace Committee, the Kukah Centre, and the Secretariat of the National Peace Committee.
The summit, themed “In Search of Peace, Unity, and Reconciliation among Communities in Taraba State,” brought together 150 carefully selected stakeholders, including traditional rulers, religious leaders, heads of security agencies, registered youth and women groups, and civil society groups working for peace in the state.
After two days of constructive engagement, the summit participants reached several key resolutions, including:
Commendation of the Taraba State Government for establishing the Ministry of Social Justice and Reintegration and a call for the creation of a Taraba State Agency for Peace and Conflict Management under the ministry to strengthen its activities
Domestication of Community Governance Structure to make them active stakeholders and complement government efforts at the community level
Development of innovative and modern ways of livestock management to address farmers/herders crises
Concerted efforts by government and relevant stakeholders to resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state
Comprehensive boundary demarcation across the state, especially in newly created chiefdoms, districts, and village areas
The summit also called for the implementation of all white paper reports on various crises in the state and the inauguration of white paper drafting committees for other Commissions of Inquiry reports. Additionally, the state government was urged to depoliticize traditional institutions and fully comply with the traditions and native laws of the people.
Religious leaders were encouraged to preach and practice peace and unity, avoid inciting their congregants against other faiths, and desist from partisan politics. Security agencies were also urged to strictly adhere to their rules of engagement in crisis management, and the public was asked to volunteer useful information promptly.
Traditional rulers were encouraged to promote community surveillance and local intelligence networking. The summit also called for a transparent and fair judicial process in handling crisis situations and compliance with constitutional provisions to address the issue of inclusion of women, youth, and people with disabilities in government.
Other key resolutions included a focus on responsible parenting through the upholding of family values, empowerment programs for youth and women centered on skills acquisition training, and support for the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Taraba State Council to train journalists and social media content providers on peace reporting and de-escalating crises.
The signing of the peace accord marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of lasting peace in Taraba State. The commitments made by the stakeholders present at the summit offer a glimmer of hope for a brighter future for the people of Taraba.