The Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, a Jos-based Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), has organised an arts exhibition in some communities to mark the 2020 World Peace Day.
DREP Programme Manager, Mr Chris Ogbonna, said at the event that the initiative was to promote peace and peaceful coexistence in communities in a unique way.
“We want to see how we can use art to promote peace by deviating from regular meetings and dialogue sessions.
“The idea is to use people with different skills such as arts to engage communities with their works.
“We are using the World Peace Day to unveil these kinds of arts exhibition and promote peace,” Ogbonna said.
He said that the arts exhibitions would take place in six communities in Plateau in the next six days.
He also stated that the idea of the exhibition was to see how to impart artistic knowledge into young people.
According to the programme manager, if the youths channel their energies into gainful ventures, they will have less time for vices.
He said the group had been giving grant to artists every year to encourage them in telling the story of peace.
Dr Jacob Onoja, a lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Jos, one of the exhibitors, said that he engaged in arts that dealt with peace in communities.
Onoja said that going into the area of peace, conflict and dialogue he had seen the devastation in communities and that the devastated family members had suffered as a result of crises.
“The best way I can express it is that, in the quietness of the studio, tell the story by inscripting words in symbolic forms.
“When people relate with works of arts, you see the reactions it will elicit.
“The stories that are crafted into my works are stories of peace which if every community imbibes, they will help to propagate peace,” he said.
Mrs Becky Soemlat of Plateau Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, lauded DREP’s initiative of promoting peace through arts.
Soemlat described the exhibition as a welcome development that would tell the story of how peace would be achieved.
She said that the ministry had been partnering with artists to see how they could project the peace in the state.
Alhaji Salisu Hassan, Nasarawa Filin Ball Community leader, where the exhibition was held, urged DREP and the exhibitors to mentor youths in arts.