AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE-BUILDING IN PLATEAU STATE 2001-2011

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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE-BUILDING IN PLATEAU STATE 2001-2011

Abstract

Over the years, the simmering tension in Plateau State as a result of settler-indigene crises, ethno-religious conflicts, unresolved political differences, perceived social and economic marginalization, bad government policies, high level of unemployment, poverty and inequality in the state‟s socio-economic relations have further heightened the state insecurity problem and eroded trust among the various ethno-religious groups. In some cases, suspicion, intolerance and the uncompromising disposition of communities in their relations with people outside their group identity have further reinforced conflict and distrust, resulting in the spontaneous outbreak of civil disorder with untold sufferings and loss of lives and properties. Thus, the pillar of harmonious relationship in the state lies in its understanding and reconciliation, which are achievable through faith and community-based organizations‟ peace-building activities. The study adopts the conflict resolution techniques and dispute management systems that emphasize confidence building, joint-problem solving, mediation and negotiation as its theoretical frame of analysis. The primary data collected through the multi-stage sampling method and secondary data collected through extensive library research for the study were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The study found out that attempts made by the faith and community-based organizations in promoting peaceful co-existence in Plateau State to some extent have recorded success, since there is relative peace in the larger part of the state with the complete cessation of violent conflict in some parts while there still exist flash lights of conflict in some parts of the state, especially the southern parts due to the continuous farmer-grazer squabbles. Consequently, people have hope and confidence in faith and community-based organizations when it comes to promoting peace due to their holistic, inclusive and participatory nature; the faith and community based organization‟s activities are better options in promoting peace than reliance on positioning securities to mount road blocks to contain violent situations or forming judicial committees whose results are never considered or implemented; turning a number of youth of the state into peace ambassadors through peace workshops and the provision of humanitarian materials to the Internally Displaced People (IDP).

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN PEACE-BUILDING IN PLATEAU STATE 2001-2011

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