“Poisonous narratives on social media” bane of peace building-DG, PPBA

Joseph Lengmang, DG PPBA

Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, PPBA, Joseph Lengmang has identified what he referred to as “poisonous narratives on the social media” by citizens as one of the numerous challenges militating against peace building efforts in Plateau State.

Lengmang who stated this in Jos, Plateau State capital when management of the agency played host to members of Women Peace Security Network, WPSN decried the high rate of unguarded utterances by citizens against one another and; the publication of materials with toxic contents on the social media.

He maintained that in addressing the issues of conflict in Plateau State in particular and Nigeria in general, “we must sit down as a people to ask ourselves the hard question of what we must do” and; “we must be sincere in responding to the question”.

“We must answer the question of governance if we must address the socio-political and economic challenges bedeviling our state and country because so long as we don’t deal with the causes and only respond to the symptoms of conflict, we will only be going round in circles”, the DG lamented.

“Even the Community Security Architecture that we are clamouring to put in place is going to deal only with security issues but, the underlying issues of conflict must be dealt with through advocacy, dialogue and sensitization through a multi-layered approach involving the ordinary Community people who are more conversant with the issues at hand”.

“The process requires patience, tolerance, understanding and should be looked at dispassionately”, Lengmang added.

Earlier, Coordinator of the Women Peace Security Network in Plateau State, Hajiya Fatima Suleiman said the network comprised of women working together at the community levels in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs to ensure that women and children who are the most vulnerable group are protected from any situation that has the potential of breaching their security and harming the their peace in any way.

Hajiya Suleiman while advocating for more inclusion of women in the peace process in Plateau State, said the network was instrumental in advocating for the State Action Plan on Peace and Security even as she solicited for the partnership of the PPBA in lobbying for the passage of the Bill which she said has already passed second reading in the Plateau State House of Assembly.

The coordinator disclosed that this year’s international theme is: “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women Rights” stressing that the network is planning to stage a musical concert in the state where women who were affected by violent conflicts in the recent past will celebrate their “victorious experiences of how they were able to overcome” such horrendous experiences.

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