Plateau violence creates several widows, orphans – Commissioner

Jonah Jang, Plateau state governor

The Plateau State government, on Friday, said 13 years of persistent violence had left the state with a large number of widows and orphans.

This was stated by the Commissioner for Information, Olivia Dazyem, at the Hill-Station Hotel, Jos, during the visit of an evaluator from the Netherlands, Evelien Weller, on conflict management and peace building among warring communities in Plateau State.

The project is handled by Apurimac, a non-governmental organisation sponsored by the EU.

Mrs. Dazyem noted that the Plateau State Government has not been able to access humanitarian assistance from the United Nations to alleviate suffering of victims of the crises, particularly orphans and widows.

“We, as a government, have not felt the positive impact of UN in the plight of our orphans and widows occasioned by violence conflicts,” she said.

According to her, the training on conflict reporting, recently offered to journalists in the state by Apurimac, had greatly assisted in the reduction of clashes between communities based on media reports.

The Dutch evaluator, Mrs. Weller, a consultant on research and evaluation on Conflict Management, Peace building and Security, was in Nigeria to access the level of achievement of the various trainings by Apurimac on how conflict had impacted the people. She applauded the efforts of Apurimac.

The country director, Apurimac, Godwin Okoko, said apart from the organisation intervening in conflict situations, Apurimac, through grants from the EU, has also trained 10,800 persons in the state in the last six years to become self-employed.

The journalists, who participated at the evaluation meeting, however, appealed to the Plateau State Government to assist non-governmental organisations that train citizens in skills acquisitions as a means of curbing the high rate of unemployment in the state.

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