Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has stated that the State government under his watch is committed to peaceful coexistence and the protection of human rights, offering hope for the future of Benue and Nigeria.

Governor Alia stated this at the Benue State Government House on Thursday, during the occasion to mark the 2023 International Day of Peace.

The Governor who described peace as not merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of harmony, understanding, and justice, explained that his administration has institutionalized a framework to support peace-building and peace enforcement initiatives in the state, adding that he has been interfacing with a plethora of local and international organizations, including agencies of the UN, with the aim of establishing a robust foundation for peace in the state.

The Governor disclosed further that the administration has equally strengthened the state’s Commission for Peace and Reconciliation, to serve as the main instrument for the actualization of the peace framework, adding that several peace initiatives, including that of creating the right atmosphere for the return and resettlement of internally displaced persons in the state as well as ways of reducing violent conflicts are been considered.

He said traditional rulers and Community Based Organizations, as well as other critical stakeholders in peacebuilding have all been carried along in the efforts to foster peace in the State, explaining that keen attention has been given to conflict hotspots in Ukum, Oju, Konshisha and Gwer as well as at border areas such as Ebonyi and Cross River, in order to create an environment conducive for growth and development.

While commending President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for working assiduously with relevant partners and stakeholders with the aim of ensuring peace in Nigeria, the governor called on the international community to lend their invaluable support to the State, through technical expertise, financial contributions as well as by sharing best practices that will not only resolve conflicts in the state and country, but will also prevent their recurrence.

Earlier in her address, the leader of the 2023 International Day of Peace and pioneer Director General of the Benue State Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Mrs. Josephine Kpadoo Haba, appreciated Governor Alia for making himself available for the 2023 International Day of Peace, saying the day has never had the presence of a governor during its celebration.

She said the Benue Peace and Reconciliation Commission, an initiative of the governor, is working closely with the government and all the international partners to ensure that the governor’s desire to resettle the IDPs to their ancestral homes is achieved.

She called on the governor and the commissioner for Education in the State, to ensure the reintroduction of Peace Clubs in all schools in the State.

In their separate goodwill messages, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as the Benue Non-Governmental Organization Network (BENGONET), Benue Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Industry (BECCIMA), Benue State Community of Practice for Peace and Security, all made cases for the IDPs, farmers and the vulnerable in the society

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Action for Peace: our Ambition for the Global Goals”.

Sir Tersoo Kula

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State.

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