Youths from the Fulani, Irigwe and Bache ethnic groups in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State have signed a social media dialogue peace agreement in order to boost peaceful coexistence in the area.
By signing the agreement in Jos, the state capital, it implies that the youths have agreed to check and regulate their social media activities that can cause chaos, disaffection and crises.
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Among other benefits of the pact, the youths will serve as peace ambassadors; preaching against the posting of harmful materials that are inimical to society.
Prior to the signing, the youths attended a three-month training where they were taught on different aspects regarding their mandate.
The training was facilitated by HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and funded by the European Union (EU).
Speaking at the signing event via zoom from Abuja, HD’s African Regional Director, Babatunde Afolabi, expressed hope that the ongoing and future dialogue processes initiated by HD would ensure adherence to social media components or clauses, as well as be a code of conduct that would guide youths’ behavioural pattern.
He said the responsible use of social media would assist in addressing conflicts around the world, but that its wrong use would destroy society.
He commended the signatories of the social media agreement for their commitment to the undertaking.
In his remarks, Director General of Plateau Information, Communication and Technology Development Agency (PICTDA), David Daser, said social media was like a double-edged sword possessing the capacity to defend or to destroy.
He said it had been used to polarise society, thwart peace movements, promote violent agendas, and used to convey inaccurate information.
Governor Simon Lalong, who was represented by the Director General of the Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengmang, said the purpose of the agreement would be defeated if after the event crises and attacks were recorded in Bassa.
He, therefore, called on the people to live in peace and watch against anything that would cause division rather than unity and peaceful coexistence.