By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
Disturbed by frequent killings in southern Kaduna and in an effort to support peace initiatives by stakeholders concerned about the crisis that has attracted Nationwide attention, Muslim Youth Foundation has risen from an expanded meeting of various Islam based groups, convened to finding ways for peace, with a call to punish individuals or groups who have been found guilty in past and current crises in the area.
In a communique to newsmen signed by National Chairman of the foundation, Kabiru Muhammad, participants recommended that stiff and impartial punitive measures should be explored as a way of checking perpetrators of killings and conflicts in Southern Kaduna to serve as deterrence to others.
The group eulogized Agwa Atyap and Emir of Jema’a for their statesmanship, commitment to peace and mobilizing their subjects for peaceful coexistence.
The communique observed with dismay divisive actions and public utterances of some ethnic and religious based groups which it said were capable of undermining the already peace process by community heads in the affected areas, urging such groups to desist from inflaming ember of disunity amongst the Southern Kaduna ethnicities.
“Roadmap for sustainable peace in the zone is for the warring factions to accept in making themselves as stakeholder and custodians of peace since no anyone other than themselves can attain and sustain the peace.
” Southern Kaduna has been adjudged as a crisis-ridden area that has shed so much blood, which portrays in bad light; this therefore hampers all developmental programs and government presence.
” All Muslim Groups and Associations in Southern Kaduna should intensify efforts at ensuring mutual understanding and cooperation among the peoples of southern Kaduna particularly, calling on all and sundry to subscribe to peaceful co-existence.
” That one of the serious problems confronting our communities is youth indulgence in drug and substance abuse. It is in the light of this, coupled with the centrality of youth to all aspects of development that MYFOSKA resolved to organize sensitization campaigns against this menace with the intention to devising means of rehabilitating and integrating the drug addicts into normal life.
” It was also resolved that all the relevant youth organizations across all the divide in the area identified and invited to collaborate and work together in the peace building.
The meeting unanimously agreed that to ensure the return of lasting peace and peaceful co-existence among all tribal communities in the area, the following recommendations were proffered.
“The various people of southern Kaduna should appreciate their differences and respect each other by avoiding inflammatory speeches or actions that often trigger conflicts.
” Surveillance activities should be taken seriously by stakeholders in every community in order to nib in the bud any attempt of breakdown of law and order, no matter how minimal.
” In the event of any dispute or security threat, the people concerned should not take the law into their hands, but report any breach of peace to relevant security agencies.
” The provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) especially chapter IV, section 33.43 on the Fundamental Rights of all citizens must be adhered to and respected by all.
” Government should implement the re commendations of all Commissions of Inquiries for all crises since the 1980s to Date and all indicted persons should be prosecuted regardless of thrir status.
” Government should ensure justice to all especially by ensuring that all Muslims who were displaced and rendered homeless out of their places of birth and abode such as in Matsirga, Gidan-Maga, Tsakiya, Zonkwa, and Unguwan-Rimi Bajju among others are adequately compensated and returned to their homes. And farmland since their displacements taken away by their traducers are returned to them as means of survival.
” All local and international cattle routes that have been encroached should be reclaimed and strong legislation on intruders be put in place with adequate surveillance by the relevant authorities.
” Government should device effective mechanisms to arresting the proliferation of dangerous arms and light weapons among people and control banditry and other forms of criminal tendencies tgat triggers insecurity on the land.
” Government should ban the mounting of any illegal roadblocks by civilians across communities in southern Kaduna. Such road blocks were often used as trap to infringe on the rights of innocent citizens to free movement.
” Media Houses, including NGOs should always verify their facts from all contending side to a conflict among the communities and ensure balanced reportage on sensitive issues to avoiding the usual one-sided & skewed narrative capable of worsening the volatile situation.
” Peace clubs should be introduced and encouraged to emerge to serve as effective fora in which youths from different background should participate to gain life skills, confidence and self-awareness for successful life and peaceful coexistence. The clubs could be established in both primary and secondary schools and for out-of-school youths to foster harmonious interaction among youths. ” The communique said.