PLATEAU state in North Central
Nigeria is home to over 54 tribes are
domicile in the state .Plateau is also
Nigeria’s 12th largest state , and is
roughly located in the center of the
country.
Plateau state is celebrated as “The
home of peace and Tourism “
Before the coming of the new
administration in the state two
years ago, Plateau state was crisisridden.
But on assumption of office
of the All Progressive Congress
APC government led by Gov Simon
Lalong in May 29 2015 ,he worked
assiduously towards ensuring peace
in the state. .
Lalong ensure he carried all
the 54 tribes in the state along in
his governance and held town
hall meetings with the various
communities and this helped to
bring lasting peace to Plateau .Now
that peace has been restored ,citizens
of the state now have the time to
celebrate their cultural days .
Some of the indigenous tribes
in the state include the Angas,G
oemai,Taroh,Berom,Afizere,Amo,
Jarawa,Montol and several others.
Similarly people from other parts of
the country have come to settle in
the state,and have literally taken the
place as their home. They include
the Igbos,Urhobos ,Hausa,Yourba,and
several other tribes . On the whole,
Plateau could be described as a
miniature Nigeria .
Following the return of peace, the
state recently organized the first
Plateau Carnival ,similarly thousands
of citizens of the state regardless
recently gathered together in the state
capital to celebrate the 2017 Nzem
Berom Cultural festival of the Berom
people .
Our correspondent reports that
people from all walks of life gathered
to celebrate with the Berom people in
the festivity that featured traditional
dances, cultural displays, drama,
songs , etc..
Speaking at the occasion, Plateau
governor Simon Lalong said” It is my
esteemed privilege to be a part of the
celebration of this year’s Nzem Berom.
This celebration is another eloquent
show of the spirit of cohesion that has
strengthened the bond of brotherhood
of the Berom Nation, and will go
down in the annals of history as a
celebration worthy of preservation and
promotion.”
He commended the Chairman of
the Jos Joint Traditional Council and
Plateau State Traditional Council
of Chiefs, His Majesty, Da Jacob
Gyang Buba CON, and his Chiefs in
Council, the Berom Educational and
Cultural Organization ,BEC,) as well
as all Berom sons and daughters, for
preserving the culture and history
of the Berom people through the
celebration of the Nzem Berom
Festival of Arts and Culture.
This event, no doubt, epitomizes
the resolute commitment and
determination of the Berom to sustain
this cultural celebration because of
the value it has on generations. For
us on the Plateau, the richness of
our cultures and peaceful traditional
disposition have endeared us to
many ethnic groups in the country
and nationals beyond Africa. This
statement has publicly been made by
the cosmopolitan setting of the State
as a miniature Nigeria.
The Berom people are no doubt a
privileged people with the gift of
natural resource of land, weather
and geography. Given that your
ancestral land of heritage is the Seat
of Government, the Berom nation
remain the frontline projectors of the
hospitability and conviviality of the
people of Plateau State. You are the
brand of the Plateau spirit and as an
appreciation of this gift of nature,
you must continue to dignify and
justify the enviable appellation of
our State being the Home of Peace
and Tourism.
He added:”The crisis of the
past decade notwithstanding, the
renewed spirit of forgiveness,
peace and accommodation that has
been nurtured by the predominant
Christian persuasion of the Berom
Race, must not be allowed to be
spirited away by any form of
provocation. While the price of
peace remains eternal vigilance, our
vigilance will be lived through the
virtues that have defined us as a
people.
I must at this point commend
the entire Berom Nation for her
commitment to the peace building
process on the Plateau. Joining the
wagon of peace has taken us to the
destination we are today. Together
with all your sons and daughters
at home and abroad, we shall
remain partners in the project of
consolidating on the peace we are
now enjoying, and we will continue to work assiduously to make the
peace in the State enduring.”
He said that Government was
aware that there are displaced
villagers stretching from Riyom to
Barkin Ladi amongst which are Jol,
Kwi, Rim, Bachit and Gashish where
inhabitants are experiencing threats
and the trauma of resettlement and
reintegration. Our current efforts
through the Peace Building Agency
we have established, will accelerate
the post-conflict transformation
and reintegration of the people. The
Humanitarian challenges in these
areas , he added, have to a large extent
been addressed through the efforts
of government, the communities,
humanitarian and faith based
organizations, the human security
and state security component will
continue to be addressed. According
to him” We will ensure that we
identify and isolate healthy conflicts
over land resources from sheer acts
of criminality and brigandage. This
we will do through community
participation and effective policing
so our people can fully settle to a life
free of threat and build our families
in an environment of peace.”
“Having given this assurances on
what remains of the embers of our
post – conflict experience, let me use
this medium to commend BECO for
focusing on culture and education as
tools for unity and progress as the
Theme for the 2017 Nzem Berom.
Last year it was Nzem Berom “A
Cultural Brand for Unity, Peace and
Progress”.
The combination of culture and
education, the governor added,
must be such that it guarantees
peace and provide the vehicle for
progress. Education will light the
path of ignorance, while culture will
nurture the values and virtues of our
lives as a people. He said through
our culture of industry, discipline,
commitment, accommodation,
courage and peaceful co-existence we
will enhance our socio-political and
economic well-being. Education, he
added, will in its own right enhance
the application of this knowledge
and cultural values which are central
to the lives of the Berom for the good
of the Berom Nation and the State in
general.
Gov. Lalong enjoined the Berom
Nation to sustain the dynamism
that has evolved in the Nzem Berom
Festival by incorporating actions
that tend to create more awareness,
in critical areas of Agriculture,
Health, Education and Economic
Empowerment. This will serve the
purpose of globally inviting the
attention of investors to the multisectoral
benefits of engaging the
potentials that reside in the Berom
land and the State for our economic
benefit.
He stressed that “our Government
recognizes that culture is a veritable
tool to mirror the identity of the people
and as such this cannot be isolated
from Education and Community
Development. Celebrating Annual
Cultural Festival is therefore an avenue
and a potent vehicle for keeping alive
the rich cultural heritage and values,
now gradually going into extinction
because of the misconstrued perception
of globalization which seems to pass for
westernization among the youth. I dare
to say a people without a culture are a
people without a value, and a people
without a value are a people with a lost
identity and infact a bleak future.”
The state’s chief executive stressed
that the premium his administration
places on cultural tourism” will
see us supporting Culture, Tourism
and Hospitality Development. Our
rich cultural traditions, natural
endowments, scenic beauty, friendly
climate, when fully harnessed will
have the multiplier effect of attracting
tourists and investments to the State.
This we have started doing with the
recently held Jos Music Fiesta and
Carnival.”
He added that to improve on this,
the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and
Hospitality in collaboration with the
various cultural and development
associations, will ensure the
streamlining of celebrations of annual
cultural festivals and also ensure that
planned attendance by other ethnic
groups in a complimentary manner
to emphasize their unity as a people.
The Plateau Festival of Arts and
Culture , he revealed, will also be
held to “showcase our rich cultural
diversity and to prepare the State
annually for the National Festival of
Arts and Culture.”
Further to this, and in order
to harvest and harness the great
potentials of our youth within the
context of our cultural endowment
and the opportunities that exist
in the creative and entertainment
industries, Government will
support and promote indigenous
films and music. This is one viable
platform through which we intend to
stimulate the engagement of talents
and provision of employment for
our teeming Youth. I will therefore
urge the Traditional Institutions to
support this initiative by providing
the rich cultural resources and
traditional orientation that the Youth
need for this tourism export in the
entertainment and creative industry.
He employed the opportunity of
this festival to once again assure”
all our traditional leadership and
citizens, that the review of districts,
chiefdoms, village areas and the
creation of development areas, will
soon be given Statutory Approval, to
ensure that deserving communities
as recommended and considered
in line with the aspirations of the
people are gazetted. This is one
exercise which we believe will
give these communities a sense of
well-being and enhance peaceful
coexistence among all our ethnic
nationalities. We might seems to be
taking our time to actualize this, the
reason is not far fetch as the desire
is to ensure that from well informed
position and thought out action, it
becomes a platform for enhancing
the mutual coexistence of all ethnic
Nationalities and not to serve as a
trigger for conflict. So while we look
forward to best of decisions, we urge
all to be patient as it will see the light
of the day.”
Governor Lalong thanked those
that graced the occasion including
the Chairman of the South-South
Traditional Rulers Forum, His
Majesty Edmund Maduabebe
Daukoru, Mingi the Twelfth (XII) The
Amanayabo and Paramount Ruler of
Nembe Kingdom who came all the
way from Bayelsa State as well as
other royal highnesses from the North
and leaders of ethnic nationalities in
the country.

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