NGO calls for result-oriented research in peace building on the Plateau

By Polycarp Auta

A non-governmental organisation, Claritas Foundation of Nigeria, has called for result-oriented research in peace building on the Plateau.Mr Cletus Aloke, the Coordinator of the “Zaman Tare” (Live Together) project of the organisation, made the call in a public Post-Graduate Research Dissemination Lecture on peace, organised on Thursday in Jos.

The zaman tare project is being implemented in collaboration with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development and Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace Centre (DREP)“We believe that the findings from these researches will form a body of knowledge that future generations can rely upon in promoting a peaceful and virile society.“These researches will be in the archives of the university and scholars can make reference to it in future“So, we encourage government at all levels to support quality research in the area of peace and conflict resolution,” he said.Aloke said the Zaman Tare project is being funded by the European Union.“

As part of the project, some post graduate students of the university of Jos were given scholarships to conduct researches the will lead to lasting peace in Plateau communities.“We are here today to share the findings of these students to policy makers, stakeholders and the general public with a view of promoting a peaceful society.Also speaking, Mr Daniel Ogabila, the Programme Officer of Peace Building of CAFOD said that the findings of research as presented in the public lecture, has exposed some enablers toward a peaceful society.Ogabila noted that the recommendations of the students would help policy makers and key stakeholders to address conflicts in the communities.“It is our hope that stakeholders and policy makers will study these recommendations and use them to champion peace in the society.“We rely so much on assumption, and that is why we are not getting it right. But recommendations from a deep-sited research as these, will help us approach and address violent conflict properly.

Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sati Fwanshak expressed the commitment of the University of Jos towards peace building through research.Fwanshak, who is the Dean of Faculty Arts of the university, said that the university  was aware of its role toward proffering lasting solutions to the prolonged conflicts in the state.He explained that most of research topics of its students since 2001 has been centered on how to unearth the remote and immediate courses of conflicts in the state and how to restore peace.“Every University is set up to contribute to the development of the society, that is why we have a faculty of Arts and Humanities, to embark on research that will advance the progress of that society, and so, for the internal conflicts in Plateau, the University of Jos is duty bound to find solutions to the conflicts and that is exactly what we are doing on this case.“

We are looking at why the original peace broke down, what to do to mend the broken peace, how are the people relating after conflict, we examine the role of various stakeholders like religious, traditional leaders, security agencies, political leaders, etc.“From such research, government can act on it by coming up with policies of peace building for the benefit of the society.“Our departments of religious studies Political science, Psychology, Sociology, History, Peace and Conflict Studies, among others are engaged in research that will benefit the Plateau society.“

So, through these departments, we have been studying and documenting everything about conflicts the state and this is why this research is concentrated on the communities where the conflicts are strongest like Jos North, Jos South and Barkin Ladi”he said.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that various topics presented at the lecture includes, “Role of Resilience and Emotional Intelligence on Depression Among Adult Victims of Armed Banditry in Jos South and Barkin Ladi Local Governments Area.

Others are “Roles  of Markets in Sustaining Peaceful Coexistence Between Christians and Muslims in Jos”, and “Roles of Religious Leaders on Peace building, Reconciliation and Dialogue in the Aftermath of the Two Decades of Jos Crisis 2001- 2020”.(NAN)