The Plateau government on Tuesday handed over 32 missionary schools to their original owners, marking the Plateau and forgiveness days.
Governor Simon Lalong, during the handover of the schools in Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, said the action was taken to fulfil his promise and appreciate faith-based organisations for their critical role in developing the state.
The governor also unveiled the new state anthem, logo and other symbols.
“In marking 47 years of our existence as a State, we want to create a solid identity and sense of pride in our upcoming generation so as to ginger them towards patriotic service,” he said.
He urged schools to comply with its directives of reciting the anthem after the national anthem. Mr Lalong added that the forgiveness and reconciliation day was conceived in 2018 as part of efforts to foster harmonious coexistence among different groups in Plateau.
He acknowledged the support of traditional, religious and community leaders in changing the negative narrative of Plateau, which he noted stunted its development.
“Triggers for violence have also been deflated through dialogue, understanding and tolerance,” he said, noting that age-long mutual distrust among ethno-religious groups had reduced through the establishment of the Plateau Peace Building Agency and the lInter-Religious Council.
“Let us always remember that without peace, there will not even be elections or the positions we seek to occupy,” said the governor.
Mr Lalong also unveiled the gazette on the creation of districts and chiefdoms.