By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kafanchan.
Kaduna State Government is to set up a structure for peace building across the state, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has said.
The Governor disclosed this in Kafanchan during the occasion to Sign and Present the Kafanchan Peace Declaration and Recommendations for Peace organised by Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).
El-Rufai said the humanitarian dialogue after Plateau to Kaduna State is not by accident but because they share certain similaritities.
According to him, there is need to work together for the peace of both state, northern Nigeria to be peaceful explaining that they have shared experiences with the Plateu in the past.
Peace in Kaduna and Plateau State is peace for the Northern Nigeria and by extension Nigeria he stressed.
The Kafanchan peace declaration are by five LGAs of Southern Kaduna; Jema’a, Kachia, Kaura, Sanga and Zangon-Kataf
El-Rufai stressed that it is the right of every citizen to live, work anywhere irrespective of any difference. According to him, Government is looking forward to working with various communities to ensure that the rights of individuals are not violated
“We exhibit equal concern for every citizen in Kaduna State and can have access to the social amenities, job opportunity. As a principle, we discourage agent of division and haterade and bitterness in our state” he said.
The Governor was hopeful that the Kafancha peace declaration will bring about new awareness for peaceful co-existence
The programme was followed by an Inter-Communal Dialogue Process in the five LGAs initiated in 2015.
Speaking, Bishop of Kafanchan Catholic Doicese, Bishop Danlami Bagobiri, who chaired the occasion, commended the organizers of the event for painstakingly embarking on an exercise he described as “a positive step in the right direction”.
“The exercise of this nature brings about a lasting peace that would impact on the nation. When a society is engulfed in war, consequences of such on human society are unimaginable as such a society must ensure that peace is sustained,” he said.
Bagobiri admonished the people on the need to accommodate each others’ differences and use it in fostering harmony and pursuit of common goal.
He asserted that religious leaders must not be quiet in openingly condemning evil perpetrated by even members of their religion.
HD Senior Adviser for Africa and Lead Mediator, Mrs Alice Nderitu commended stakeholders, representatives of communities and the the partnership of Plateau State government towards ensuring the initiation of a process that would lead to lasting peace.
Mrs Nderitu said although declarations to be presented dealt with parts of the causes of crisis, much was still desired adding that the journey to lasting peace was a continued process.
She said part of the recommendation included, strengthening of vigilante groups and security agents. “We have also done alot in inclusion of women and youth involvement in government policies and programs”.
The Lead Mediator said recommendations reached required governments approval and support to see the light of the day adding that government plays key role in actualising the recommendations.
In a key note address, Dr Ahmad Dogarawa stressed the need for the teachings of religion on peaceful coexistence, adding that greater percentage of Nigerians were eighter Christians or Muslim’s.
“The principles of peaceful coexistence are the underlining principles in the practice of both religion” he stressed.
Plataue State Governor, Mr Simon Lalong at the ceremony, also said the peace declaration is a series of peace building activities that would consolidate on the post conflict transformation and peace building which will enhance peaceful coexistence and progressive communal relationships
According to him, in early 2013, HD having consulted widely with Government and communities in Jos, decided to use the organization to mediate to help communities develop an inter-communal dialogue process driven by communities themselves.
He said, the idea was to allow 8 different communities; Afizere, Anaguta, Berom, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, South-South and Yoruba, directly to discuss their difference and concerns with each other and to find solutions to their problems.
He highlighted some of the achievement of the HD forum in Jos, that communities begin to respect each other and are now collaborating to solve conflicts. He said they now agree to number of understandings on difficult issues, and work together to implement their recommendations.
“To the people of Kaduna, way forward will not be easy but you have charted a path with this declaration of commitment.
“And with the recommendations of the forum that you have come to sign, while implementation will require concerted effort from other support groups and most importantly from the state and local government” he concluded.
There were goodwill messages from the High Commissioner of Canada, representatives from Jos Peace Dialogue Forum and solidarity remarks from representative of traditional rulers in Southern Kaduna.
Resentatives from the five LGAs in Southern Kaduna signed the recommendation while Governor El-Rufai’i and Plataue State Governor Lalong, Kaduna State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General Amina Sijuade also signed the documents as witnesses.
There were goodwill messages from the High Commissioner of Canada, Representatives from Jos Peace Dialogue Forum and solidarity remarks from representative of traditional rulers in Southern Kaduna.