Plateau Peace Building Agency receives Ethiopian Region Parliamentarians on Study Visit

The Director General of Plateau Peacebuilding Agency (PPBA), Mr. Joseph Lengmang played host to Members of Parliament from the Oromia Region of Ethiopia who were on a study visit to Plateau State.

The visit of Oromia Parliamentarians was facilitated by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, led by its country director Dr. Chris Agboha, who said they were at the Agency to exchange ideas and also learn from what the Agency has been doing, being that the Agency is the first of its kind in Nigeria as an institutional framework established by law to respond to the challenges of peace and security in the state.

The Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, while receiving the Parliamentarians from the Region of Oromia, said he was quite elated receiving Palamenterians from another country which was the first for the Agency, as it provides an opportunity for both to learn and share experiences.
He acknowledged the role and significance that Ethiopia played in the pan-African Struggle, the evolution of politics, and appreciated the place of Ethiopia in the history of Africa.

Mr Lengmang stated that the Plateau State Peace Building Agency (PPBA) was set up by the current administration of Governor Simon Lalong with a foresight to institutionalize conflict prevention and peacebuilding which brought into existence the Agency with a mandate to promote the culture of peace and harmonious coexistence, among the various ethnoreligious divides on the Plateau.

He said the Agency was set up by a Legal framework and a sub-national unit in Nigeria with credit to the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue who started up early conversations for the setting up of the Agency and also guided the Agency in its ‘infant years.
He said the Agency works through strategic partnerships with state and non-state actors, they also coordinate conflict resolution and peacebuilding interventions of stakeholders who work in and around the issues of Peace Building and conflict prevention

“Plateau Peace Building Agency is non-partisan, non-religious and non-ethnic, and our work is all geared towards building a safer and more stable plateau that is at peace with itself and the rest of the world.”

“The Agency works in different communities with the support from government and other organizations, as the Agency has made some significant progress over their years as a result of our various interventions, with some modest achievements that are allowing the agency to further build on them which portends a future for a peaceful and harmonious society regardless of what has happened in the past.”

“We have taken the right step and for that reason, we haven’t seen the kind of violent conflict that existed in the past on the Plateau because of the deliberate strategies that the peacebuilding Agency has put in place, working with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Traditional Institutions, with Religious Institutions, with community-based Organizations, with international non-governmental organizations to craft the kind of peace that we want to see.”

“Government alone will not be able to deal with issues of conflict as such the Agency has come in to Put the people in the center of discussions, having a dialogue in a very systematic fashion, listening to people regardless of the how hurting it might be and focusing on what unites us as opposed to what divides us holds some promise for our future,” He said was lessons to be taken from Agency, as when faced with realities of what can be done to make the difference without rallying absolutely on the instrumentality of government.

About the Farmer-Herder conflict, Lengmeng stated that with serious interventions and massive investment from the government and other NGOs in transforming the conditions that engender those conflicts, the Agency has been able to make progress and the situation has gone down because of the understanding and mutual cooperation that can be witnessed.

Responding on behalf of the Members of Parliament from the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, Seada Abdurahman the Speaker of the Parliament said she was grateful for the insightful discussion as it will add to the compendium of what they have gained since arrival in Nigeria.
She further acknowledged the efforts and achievements of the Agency since its inception especially the continuous collaboration to achieve its mandate.

The Members of Parliament from the Oromia Region of Ethiopia also paid a courtesy visit to the Plateau State Governor and also a working visit to the Plateau state House of Assembly.

The delegation had a robust interactive session with the Director General of the PPBA, Mr. Joelengs Joseph Lengmang, the Management and other Team Leads of the agency, with discussions centered around experiences in inter-ethnic tensions; inter-play of politics and conflict, and the farmer/herder clashes, amongst others

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