In 2019, Plateau state governor Simon Lalong refurbished and commissioned a garden in Jos metropolis tagged “the garden of peace and forgiveness.
The garden was built with the aim to bring peace and a safe space to find hope. This took place following the continued ethnoreligious crisis in the state which has left the metropolis in a polarised state, with many residents feeling disillusioned and let down.
The conflict and violence in Plateau State have taken a toll on the residents, leaving them in need of a safe and peaceful space to heal and find hope. The governor’s vision for the Garden of Peace was to address this need, creating a space where residents could come together and find solace in the beauty of nature.
Despite the governor’s best intentions, the Garden of Peace has fallen far short of its intended purpose. The park is now in a terrible state, with poor maintenance and neglect leaving the once beautiful gardens in disarray. This is further highlighted by the fact that in 2021, a 47-year-old man set himself on fire in the park, a space meant for peace. This tragic event is a clear indication that the park is not fulfilling its intended purpose.
The poor state of the Garden of Peace and the tragic event in 2021 highlight the limitations faced by the government in addressing the ongoing crisis in Plateau State and ensuring the well-being of its citizens. Despite the best intentions, the government has been unable to fulfill its vision for the park, leaving residents without a source of hope and solace in the midst of conflict and violence.
In conclusion, the Garden of Peace in Plateau State serves as a reminder of the past challenges faced by the government in addressing the crises in the state and ensuring the well-being of its citizens. The park’s poor state and the tragic event in 2021 highlight the limitations faced by the government, but it also serves as a call to action. The government must take steps to restore the Garden of Peace to its former glory, ensuring that it once again serves as a symbol of hope and a source of solace for the residents of Plateau State.