THE Plateau Peace Practitioners Network last week Thursday organized a special event to remember the 2001 Jos crisis.
Over 1000 people were estimated to have died during the clashes that broke out between Christians and Muslims over a political appointment.
The city has witnessed more violence since then, with unprovoked attacks taking over in farming communities across Plateau State years later.
While State authorities were still to curb this new phase of the conflict widely referred to as farmer-herder clashes, drug abuse and gang violence began springing up in Jos the State capital, leading to several deaths and destructions.
“This is a sad narrative, considering that we are trying to recover from the bad experiences of the past,” says the PPPN Chairman, Mr. Zakka Mugu Bako.
The crimes which have grown in frequency and scale are capable of returning the state to its violent past, says Bako.
Most of those involved according to a human rights activist, Mr. Jacob Choji were either born or raised during the 2001 crisis.
These might be influenced to replicate what they might have experienced during the violence in their communities.
“Those currently hunting communities on the Plateau are very young people between ages 15-25 in all communities.
“This implies that they experienced the Sept. 7th, 2001 crisis in their early
childhood,” Choji said.
Community leaders, governments and civil societies he said have a responsibility to curb the activities of the gangs and deradicalize them.
An official of the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Godwin Okoko specifically called for legislations that regulate sale and production of drugs and toxic substances.
The essence of the event was to single and tackle drug abuse and gang violence as a potential threat to the fragile peace in the State.
The event was accompanied by various symposia and other activities aimed at reuniting segregated communities and rebuilding broken relationships.
“We are saying never again for us to have this kind of experience in Plateau State,” the PPPN Chairman, Mr. Bako says.