Following the incessant violent conflicts bedeviling Southern Kaduna and the need to reset relationship amongst its various ethnic groups in the region for a harmonious coexistence, the Southern Kaduna Joint Peace Committee (SKJPC) on Friday calls on the people of the region to end all conflicts and ensure that peace reigns once more.
The call was made in Kaduna during a press conference organized by SKJPC in collaboration with the Nigeria Early Response Initiative (NERI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The conference was with the theme: “Building Social Cohesion and Restoring Peace and Mutual Trust Amongst Communities in Southern Kaduna,” which took place at the Faculty of Management Science auditorium of the Kaduna State University, KASU.
“(SKJPC) is a Committee of five Muslims and five Christians selected and inaugurated at the end of Southern Kaduna Peace Summit
held at Throneroom, Kafanchan,
organized by the Nigerian Christians Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) under the able leadership of its Executive Secretary, Rev. Yakubu Pam in conjunction with the Friends of
Southern Kaduna, that included, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the Executive Secretary of TETFund,” said the group.
Adding, “We are happy to inform you that we have been presented to His Excellency, the Executive Governor and he has promised to work with us at all times to ensure that peace return to Southern Kaduna communities.
“Our Committee is a product of a strong desire by the Southern Kaduna People to end all conflicts and ensure that peace reigns once more in Southern Kaduna. The Committee’s mandate is to ensure that there is sustained peace in
all communities in Southern Kaduna.
“At the beginning of the Committee’s work, we held series of meetings in Kaduna to lay out a framework for constructive engagement, and we
came up with short term, medium term and long-term activities to ease our work.
“As part of our short-term activities, we visited virtually all the Chiefdoms and Emirates in Southern Kaduna. We have met and addressed twenty-one (21) Chiefs and Emirs with
message of peace and cordial relationship.”
The group further added, “Our visit to the Chiefdoms and Emirate was first and foremost to introduce ourselves to
the royal fathers, seek their blessings and to preach the message of peace and peaceful coexistence. The visit represents a significant opportunity for ensuring a comprehensive
and sustainable peace in Southern Kaduna.
“We argued that living together in peace,
benefits us all and the region could overcome most of the social and economic problems it faces once there is peace. Our expectations are that the visit to the traditional rulers will
open channels of communication, strengthens the skills needed to ensure peace, re-established local remediation and conflict resolution mechanisms in our communities.
“Many of you are aware that most of the crises in Southern Kaduna have been between herders and farmers. We are also aware that the movement of the cattle rearers from the North to the South during the dry season and from South to the North during the raining
season has led to conflicts as there are usually destruction of crops and animals.
“Specifically, we went to the Royal Fathers to sensitize all traditional councils on the need to maintain peace by ensuring that conflicts arising from this seasonal movements are
carefully handled to deescalate crises. We know that all the chiefdoms and emirates visited have stock routes or cattle routes passing through them.
“We are happy to inform you that the Committee was well received in all the Chiefdoms and Emirates visited. We appreciate the support and words of encouragement by all the
traditional rulers. The traditional rulers while assuring the Committee of their support and
commitment to peace, agreed that the conflicts between herders and farmers are avoidable.”
The Royal Fathers identified intolerance, the use of minors for grazing of animals and the consumption of harmful substances as some of the major challenges in their domains.
“We sought for their understanding and cooperation in ensuing that the supply, sale and use of harmful drugs and other substances are eliminated in all communities in Southern Kaduna.
“In the second phase of our engagements we have are focusing on building social cohesion and restoring peace and mutual trust amongst communities in Southern Kaduna. In a town-hall-like manner, we have embarked on meeting stakeholders and visiting communities affected by the crises to restore hope and ensure that warring parties regain their livelihood
activities,” SKJPC said.