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Plateau Group Trains Residents On Crisis Management

Agabus Pwanagba, Jos

In its efforts to achieve peace in crisis-ridden communities in Plateau State, a non-governmental organisation, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) has trained over 2, 500 persons on how to mediate in conflict management.

The Communication and Learning Officer, Search for Common Ground, Chima Onwe disclosed this during the “Plateau Will Arise” media tour.

The Plateau Will Arise Project is an 18 month programme funded by the European Union and implemented by Search for Common Ground and Community Action for Popular Participation.

Onwe said, “The Plateau Will Arise Project is aimed at building a locally owned, inclusive community base peace architecture, a structure which by God’s grace will last beyond the life span of the project.

His words: “The training of the community people is to build their capacity to respond to emerging conflict issues in locality.

“Eight LGAs are involved, which includes, Jos North, Jos South, Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Shendam, Wase and Qua’an Pan

“The first training was the Training of Trainers (TOTs), where we select between 30-32 persons in each of the LGAs, they were trained for 5 days on Advanced Conflict Transformation.”

“The TOTs in turn trained young and old people (25) from four communities in the aforementioned LGAs.

“After that we began the process called the Participatory Conflict Transformation, where these people that have already been trained will use their skills to mediate in particular conflict in their communities.”

The Communication and Learning Officer explained further that, 35 women from each of the Councils were also trained on leadership and management skills, adding that government officials in the 8 LGAs and state were also trained.

According to him, a training on Community Security Peace Architecture is ongoing, who will be saddled with the responsibility of responding to emerging conflict issues in communities.

He advised communities to adhere to early warning systems, where cases are reported before they escalate, adding that in some of the LGAs visited during the tour, it was observed that resource control, land dispute, drug abuse, criminality and political thuggery were identified as challenges bedeviling the communities.

Narrating his experience of conflict management, a community leader from Yelwa in Shendam LGA, Abdullahi Abdullahi, said, “a few weeks ago there was a rumour in Yelwa District, it was because of this training which we applied what we learnt, if not that, we would have gone back to what happened in 2004.

He lamented that local government authorities pay less attention to conflict management and peace building efforts.

Also speaking, Gerard Longlat, said, “By and large one of the things we took from the training was learning to overcome situations that could escalate.

The participants collectively stressed the need for everyone to be security conscious, noting that crisis has contributed to underdevelopment in their various communities.

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