NOA PEACE PARLEY CAUTIONS NASARAWA POLITICIANS AGAINST VIOLENCE
The peace advocacy forum organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Lafia, Nasarawa State ended on Tuesday with a call by stakeholders for politicians to desist from inciting the people to violence.
This came in the wake of recent outbreaks of communal violence in parts of the State, the most recent being the attacks on Agyaragu Community in which several people were displaced and many houses burnt including the palace of Zhe Migili, the traditional ruler of the Migili people. The peace parley, which also provided an opportunity for the foundation laying of NOA Nasarawa State Directorate office by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-makura attracted several royal fathers from across the State led by the Emir of Lafia, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Mustapha Agwai.
Addressing the forum, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri stressed that once elections are won, politicking must give way to governance while all politicians, irrespective of political and ethnic leanings, must unite to deliver development to the people as a collective responsibility. He condemned the violent crises in Nasarawa State as “abominable, reprehensible and condemnable” to all well-meaning people. Consequently, he cautioned politicians in the State to “desist from inflaming passions of hatred amongst the people because nemesis is coming”.
Agreeing with the NOA boss, Governor Al-makura identified the urgent need for ethical re-orientation to woo people of the State to embrace positive values of peace, tolerance, and mutual respect among others as an antidote to recurrent conflicts. “If politics could be used to affect the lives and properties of the people of Agyaragu in such a negative manner, then it is not worth its sort”, declared Al-makura. He added that “if the messages of the NOA are imbibed, those politicians with negative values will find other places to practice their kind of politics other than Nasarawa State because Nasarawa people have always been a peace loving people”. He further pledged that anyone found to be using the people’s disadvantage positions to incite them to violence would be brought to book.
Traditional rulers including the Osana of Keana, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Elayo also learnt their voices to the call for restraint by politicians and their followers. He condemned the do-or-die approach of politicians as immature and inimical to the development of the State urging them to retrace their steps. He also pledged the commitment of traditional rulers in Nasarawa State to ensuring that such acts of violence remain a thing of the past in the State.
The NOA Director General also visited the burnt palace of the Migili monarch, His Royal Highness, Dr. Ayuba Agwadu Audu where he declared the royal father an ambassador of peace. The Zhe Migili promised that in the peaceful nature of the Migili people, there would be no reprisal attacks.
Mr. Omeri condemned the destruction visited on the palace which he described as massive and unwarranted. He urged aggrieved persons to learn to embrace dialogue and legal avenues in seeking redress rather than taking laws into their hands.
Dignitaries at the forum included high profile traditional rulers, religious leaders, officials of the State Government and the media.