BISHOP WILLIAM AVENYA ENGAGED YOUTH ON INSECURITY IN GBOKO, ON THE 25/5/2016, AT ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHEDRAL GBOKO.
The Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese Most Rev William Avenya calls for peace among the various youth groups in Gboko. This was voiced out during a meeting with various youth groups in the diocese at the St John the Baptist Cathedral Gboko. Accompanying the Bishop, was ,the Vicar-General Rev Fr Emmanuel Udu, the Chancellor Rev Fr Isaac Dugu, the Cathedral Administrator Rev Fr Gabriel Igberikon, the Coordinator for Caritas Gboko Rev Fr Emmanuel Asue and Caritas Secretary Robert Abuul.
The youth groups in attendance were, Jemgbagh Youth Association led by Comrade Akor Andiir, Civilian Joint Taskforce led by Aondonengen Anshar, Gboko Indigenous Association under the leadership of Raymond Chiakyor, Amnesty Group under Ternenge Cia and APC Youth Leader Dekera Vergwar. All the groups in attendance came with a fraction of their members to the meeting.
In his opening remarks, using his experienced while working in war-turned Liberia in then 90s, as a way of drawing attention to the place reasoning through dialogue of this Nature. He traced his engagement with various categories of stakeholders within Tivland and most especially Gboko in the promotion of peace and development in the land. The Bishop reemphasis that his cardinal objectives when elected as Bishop to Gboko Diocese was to ensure that peace prevails in Tivland, irrespective of one's background, language, parenting, religion, clan and economic status.
God has so blessed Tivland with various gifts of land resource, handwork, creativity, single language, and intelligence but in all this blessing God has planted in us ill feelings among us. In spite of all these blessing and fame of Gboko; there are problems confronting our existence in this land. These contentious issues are:
- Politic and the political actors in this Tivland.
- Secondly, according to the Bishop one of the most frequently observed is security challenge in the city of Gboko that is associated with kidnapping, intimidation, harassment, gang violence and assassin. In this, we are all comprised, in which all gathered here are party to directly of otherwise.
These issues has created a lot of fear in the land and many are running to other cities in search of peace. Even with this, the church is committed toward bringing development and also to invite other development partners to come and help.
He appeal that, the youth should be willing to work and face the challenges confronting our common security here in Gboko. We most put an end to these problems and unstill progressive ideas.
Figure 1: Bishop Williams at the pick of his discussion
In the course of interacting with the group certain issues came out that triggers insecurity among or around the city of Gboko. These issues were are as follows:
- Elite influence to youth actions: The group stated clearly that, there activities are influenced by their leaders whom are well placed in the social status of Gboko. That for peace to prevail it is important to engage their sponsors on restoring peace.
- Settlers and indigenes differences: The question of where you come from in Tivland while discussing on development in Gboko was voiced strongly by the group. One of the participant while responding state that, the neighbouring clans to Gboko in Tiv are most time not involved when addressing matters bothering development and livelihood in Gboko.
- Lack of unity among Tiv political representation: The group also state that the security a time is a reflection of the political actors in Abuja and Makurdi who cannot sit together for foster development at home but instead promote insecurity among their supporters at home.
- Competition for leadership among the various youth groups in found in the city. Lack of forum where they could meet and talk. The place of sitting together to address issues of common concerned was expressed by the group. They stated that the church is always at the helm of calling for social redresses as course for meaning development in the land.
- Lack of faith in government ability to deliver on campaign promises.
- The groups appeal for a gather that will include non-Tiv speakers who are also stakeholder in promoting peace within Gboko diocese.
Figure 2: Group photograph with the Bishop Avenya in the middle.
Finally the groups agreed on the following submission together with Bishop Avenya, there as followed:- It is high time will stop been used or manipulated by political elite in the land for their undue advantages.
- That the youth are central to peace and security irrespective of political affiliation and they is a need to join hand to promote security and wellbeing of Gboko.
- The groups will sit privately and discussed on the matters that the church had appeal for today and reach out their finding to the bishop.
- The Bishop promised that all structures most especially Caritas office of the church will be made available for facilitate for their meeting more frequently to discussion on the security of the town.
- We must fix this house for its our common home and must be rebuilt for growth and development.
A vote of thanks and closing prayer was said by Rev Fr Emmanuel Udu and the Bishop gave the final blessing.