July 23, 2024

Group wants Government to engage Religious Leaders, FBO to actualize their Policies

A group known as Interfaith Mediation Group, Plateau State chapter has called on Government at all levels to always engage religious leaders and Faith Based Organizations (FBO) towards actualizing their good policies.

The group which is an affiliate of Interfaith Mediation Center (I.M.C) Kaduna, made the call in a statement shortly after a one day interfaith dialogue engagement with youths from Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas, held at TEKAN headquarters in Jos, Plateau State on Saturday.

The event with the theme, “The role of Interfaith Youth Leaders in Governance and Development in Plateau State,” had resource persons from both the Christian and Muslim faith who spoke on the imperative of peaceful coexisting for development to strive.

A Jos based educationist who is also an Islamic Scholar, Mallam Abdulateef Abdulhamid in his presentation, stressed the need for the interfaith youth leaders to champion the course of peace in their locality by educating the youths, believing that education can address some of the societal ills.

Speaking on role of the interfaith leaders in checkmating government activities, the Islamic scholar advised them to always seek collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs), and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to provide basic needs, like Education, Healthcare, Water, electricity and road for the people in areas where government has not reached.

On religious differences especially between Christians and Muslims that always trigger crisis with any slight provocation, Mallam Abdulateef Abdulhamid suggested the need for children orientation to enable them understand that God is a God of variety hence, He created and love all mankind and expect all that He created to love and live peacefully regardless of their faith.

Rev. Dr. Harris John who spoke on the impact of interfaith dialogue in governance, noted that though Plateau State is yet to be where it ought to have reached but still is not where it was in the past as it has recorded some significant progress despite the differences.

He said engaging the youths in an interfaith dialogue as such will bring about the needed change the society and the state at large is yearning for.

According to the resource persons, crisis has done the state more harm than good hence, the change most beginning with everyone of them for the state to progress.

Also in a presentation on “Drugs and Substance Abuse” Mr. Chungyang Yakubu, said most of the social ills and the restiveness happening in the state are results of drugs and substance abuse by the youths.

Mr. Yakubu who made his presentation more interactive, allowed the youth leaders to discuss factors that often time lead to drugs or substance abuse and it effects on the person, family and the society at large.

The youth leaders mentioned friends’ influence, poverty and poor parental upbringing as some of the factors that lead the youths into substance abuse, which sometimes lead to lost of lives as a result of frustration, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, stealing, thuggery or crisis merchants.

The Plateau State leaders of the Interfaith Dialogue group, the organizers of the event, Mr. Ringsum John and Imam Othman Ibrahim, explained that the engagement was to among other things sensitize the interfaith youth leaders on the need for them to understand government as an institution of state, her policy and the need for synergy between the government and the public for good governance.

According to them, they engaged the interfaith youth leaders from Jos South and Jos North because they are the cosmopolitan local government areas where the state government is working to actualize her policy of the “Greater Jos Master Plan” to ensure understanding with the whole exercise.

In a statement at the end of the engagement, the group called on the government to as a matter of urgency, engage with all religious leaders and faith base organization to synergize toward taking the government policy beyond media broadcasting.

According to the statement, engaging with the religious leaders would enable them take it down to churches and mosques for easy assimilation of government programmes and intentions which will help a lot.

“We equally advice, that government should embark on deliberate and purposeful youth empowerment, because its said that an idle mind is the devils workshop.

“We also advice government to be deliberately and considerable to the hardship which we know it is nationwide on the poor and the aged citizens in the areas of provision of health care services, foodstuff, transportation and an alternative options to local marketers.

“Also we plead with the government to subsidize the metro-buses registration cost and adequate provision of fertilizer, to farmers at a good price and at the right terms.

“NDLEA should step up in its fight against illicit substances and drug abuse among youth and parents which gave reasons to why violent among youth easily triggers or escalates at a small provocation, causing huge destruction as noticed in recent time.

They called on religious leaders to always centre their messages on love and teach their subjects the need to coexist together and respect for one another and constituted authority.

The group appreciated the Government of Plateau State for been there for her people both at home and outside the state.

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