Coalition urges National Assembly to pass Peace Bill

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By our Taraba correspondent

A call has gone to the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency pass a Bill on National Peace Policy that would enable President Mohammadu Buhari to create National Peace Commission .

If created, the commission, according to the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working for peace and development in the Benue valley, which will be mandated to address the lingering conflicts “that are threatening the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria. ”

In a communique made available to media practitioners in Jalingo, Taraba state, the coalition felt sad that Benue valley has been “overran by conflicts of various dimensions with dare consequences.”

The communique which was jointly signed by Rt.Rev. Foreman Nedison, Rev (Dr.) N. N Inyom and the secretary of Peace, Justice and reconciliation Committee, Rev. Manaseh Musa , observed with dismay the way and manner “criminal elements have taken advantage of the states insecurity to cause mayhem in the region. ”

The coalition who also observed that lack of “unity and collaboration of critical stakeholders in the region has hampered peace, reconciliation and developmental efforts in the middle belt ” attached the “weak response ” of security operatives to the apron strings of the present security challenges in the region.

Part of the communique read ” that weak response from security agencies and slow criminal justice administration have worsened the situation, thereby compelling citizens to resort to self help”stating that the :consultative meeting vehemently decried the currency deafening consipiratory silence over the lingering crisis by some stakeholders and organizations, instead of getting involved on how to end it. ”

Stressing that the organized Civil Society groups in the Middle Belt are constrained of resources to take collective measures in addressing the crisis, the need for the government to collaborate with relevant stakeholders and Non-Govermental Organizations (NGOs) to halt further spread of the killings, they agreed have become necessities.

“Government ” as stated in the communique “should intensify collaboration with relevant stakeholders such as coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations working on peace and development in peace building process towards addressing the remote and immediate causes of the crisis, some days which are well known. ”

Calling on the relevant authorities to revisit the famous Jalingo Peace Accord of 2003, initiated by the Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Committee (PJRC)” said the accord would go a long way to put to rest the incessant upheavals in the Middle Belt.

To avoid retaliatory attacks, they admonished families, groups and organizations to desist from passing wrong history and legacies to the succeeding generation.

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