Operation Safe Haven, a multi-security task force maintaining peace and harmony in Plateau and some parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states, has organised a peace summit to tackle the lingering crisis between Irigwe and Fulani ethnic groups in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The peace summit, which was held at the Lamond Hotel, Jos, was organised for youths drawn from the warring parties in Bassa Local Government Area.
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Irigwe and Fulani crisis has claimed many lives and property in the last three years.
Major-General I. S Ali, who doubles as the General Commanding Officer of 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, in his remark said the summit was organised to enlighten the participants on the need to co-exist peacefully and avoid anything capable of igniting crisis among them.
Ali also said part of the summit was to inform the youth about the preparation of his committee to commence the implementation of the recommendations submitted to him, calling on all the warring parties to give peace a chance in the area.
The commander, however, noted that the Irigwe/Fulani crisis was the most difficult and troublesome to handle in the history of the crisis in the state, hoping that the summit would help in bringing lasting peace to the area.
An Irigwe man and participant at the event, Chuho Bari, expressed optimism about the peace summit, saying, “We are here to reconcile with our brothers, who we were living together, but at some points started fighting one another. So, we are here to put our heads together to find peace in our various communities. I hope that after this summit we will continue to live with one another, irrespective of our ethno-religious affiliation.”
Auwala Abubakar, a Fulani and participant at the event, also expressed hope that the lesson learned would go a long way to ensuring peace and harmony in the Bassa Local Government Area.
He said, “We are at this summit to find ways of peaceful coexistence. We are happy that the commander of the operation has organised this summit, and we hope that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.”