Town Hall Series Addresses Violence, Conflict in Plateau State

Agnes Ekebuike

A recent Town Hall series organised by a Lagos based TV station in Plateau State, has addressed violence and conflict within and around the state. 

For over 20 years, the conflict in Plateau State has claimed the lives of thousands across several local governments including Bokkos, Mangu, Riyom, Wase, Birkin Ladi, and more. The crisis has escalated over the past decade, leaving residents and indigenes in a heightened state of fear and state of emergency. The town hall brought together community leaders, residents, members of various communities, representatives of security agencies and more to share their experiences, concerns, and solutions toward addressing the root causes of the violence and conflicts in the state. 

The event was held in Jos, the state capital with the discussion moderated by News Central’s Bernard Akede, a seasoned journalist and expert in conflict reportage. Notable remarks from the town hall revealed the root of the strife across communities and the level of division that Plateau had experienced.

The Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, who was represented by the State Commissioner of Information, Musa Ashoms, commended News Central for its bravery in covering the events of the state.

In his remarks, the governor’s representative said:” “As a government, we have empowered a peace-building agency to dialogue, interface, interact, and heal wounds among communities on the Plateau who have been injured. It is a sad commentary that while many beautiful things are happening on the Plateau, some media outlets are not interested in promoting them. Once a life is taken, the headlines are exaggerated.”

However, there were heated accusations and counter-accusations from major stakeholders in the course of the town hall. One such accusation came from the representative of the Berom community, Gyang Chollom, who stated that “since March 2010, the Fulanis have single-handedly taken over the attacks. Many villages have been attacked and taken over since then. This is not community violence.”

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