Abuja, Nigeria – The United States government is partnering with the Plateau State government to promote peace and security in the region through a Justice and Security Dialogue project. U.S. Ambassador W. Stuart Symington and the Plateau State Governor Rt. Honorable Simon Lalong attended one of the dialogue events in Jos on Tuesday. The participants included government officials, the military and police as well as religious leaders, traditional rulers, and representatives of civil society.
Ambassador Symington commended the attendees for holding dialogues to promote a collaborative and inclusive approach to conflict resolution. “This is a moment when all of you come together to talk about a profound bond – a bond between citizens and their nation, a bond between citizens and their future, a bond between citizens and their own security,” he said.
“We are lucky to have here in this room both citizens and the police, soldiers, and security forces who serve them. I think this tie between a people and a nation, a state, and a city, and you who are sworn to serve and protect them, is the most fundamental tie in any democracy,” the Ambassador remarked.
Ambassador Symington also emphasized that, “Peace is a path that has to be traveled constantly and maintained constantly, and used constantly for the good of the people… it’s a joy for me to see people who are not just dedicated to talking about reconciliation, but to see people who are traveling the road to make it possible, to make it last.”
The Justice and Security Dialogue aims to improve the relationship between security providers and citizens. It will also help civilian security forces become more effective, accountable, and responsive to community needs. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and implemented by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).
The U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Nigeria program provides equipment, training, mentoring, and capacity- building support to various Nigerian law enforcement and justice sector institutions.