Forgiveness is mostly treated as a word used in religious circles but it plays an important role in reconciliation and peacebuilding. The Plateau State Forgiveness Day was established by the executive Governor in 2019 while inaugurating The Garden of Forgiveness.
In his own words,
“I declare today February 7, as a day of forgiveness to be observed as an annual public holiday in the state, a day for sober reflection, prayers and turning back to Almighty God as enshrined in our scriptures. The day is set apart to reflect on our journey as a people and having in mind the various crises that have bedeviled the state from 2001.”
Since then, the day is marked with an event to reinforce the ideal of forgiveness as a necessary ingredient for lasting peace.
In 2021, the event was marked with a church Service to commemorate the day at the St. Louis Parish under the leadership of His Grace, Most Rev. Mathew Ishaya Audu, the catholic Archbishop of Jos Diocese.
In attendance was His Excellency Rt. Hon. Dr. Simon Bako Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State, His Excellency, Prof. Sonny Tyoden the Deputy Governor of Plateau state, Hon Abok Izam Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Prof. Danladi Atu , Secretary to the Government of the State, Hon. Noel Donjur Chief of Staff, Government House and Rev. Yakubu Pam, Executive Secretary National Pilgrims Board.
Other dignitaries in attendance included Shiekh Ghazali the Chief Imam of the Jos Central Mosque, Imam Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye from the Kaduna based Interfaith Mediation Center as well as other distinguished leaders from the Muslim community.
At PPBA, our sincere prayer is that we all learn to look back with a view to heal, forgive and reconcile our future.