Gombe Peace Project (GPP), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has appealed to residents of the state to sustain the peaceful co-existence among adherents of the two major religions in the country.
Mr Ahmed Magem, Convener of the group, formed after the April 22 crisis that led to the death of nine members of Boys and Girls Brigades in the state, made the appeal in Gombe on Wednesday.
He told newsmen that the development recorded in the state in the last two decades was due to prevalence of peace, but regretted that crisis was threatening the peace.
Magem stated that his group would meet with major stakeholders in the state and engage all aggrieved persons to ensure that issues of bitterness were addressed through dialogue.
He commended the state government for the lifting the curfew it imposed in Gombe metropolis in the wake of the disturbances.
Magem stated that crisis could do more damage than envisaged within a short period, hence the need to forestall the storm to stop it from spreading to other parts of the state.
“We appeal for your cooperation as it is vital to the sustenance of peaceful co-existence in the metropolis and the state in general.
“We are still involved in consultations with different groups to sustain the achievements so far made with a first-ever town hall meeting,” he said.
He decried the negative role of social media in the crisis, saying that they were often major factors in the escalation of violence in any situation.
The group’s convener emphasised that the media must help to fight fake news, adding that there should be self-censorship before reporting crisis in any society.
According to him, part of what escalated the tension in the state was the religious colouration attached to the reportage of the sad event.
While appealing to Christian and Muslim faithful to tolerate one another, Magem stressed that the task of sustaining peace was collective and must be done if Gombe was to remain an example in the North-East.