The Kaduna State Peace Commission, (KAPECOM) yesterday, took stock of the successes it has recorded in peace building and community dialogue over the period of 3 years that the commission was established in the state.
In his remarks, the Chairman of KAPECOM, His Grace, Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Feron, said, in November, 2020, the Commission marked its third year of existence, having been inaugurated on 2nd November 2017. During the occasion, we had cause to inform you of the enormous successes achieved in engendering peace in the state despite daunting challenges.
These successes were achieved through the hard work of the Commission, the support of Governor Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai, Local Government Council chairmen, stakeholders, including community, religious, women and youth leaders, traditional rulers, security agencies, civil society organisations, NGOs and development partners.
Together we worked with the government and people of Kaduna to create a culture of durable peace and social tranquillity. At that time, many parts of the state were facing challenges of violent conflicts. Today such conflicts have reduced tremendously and these communities are enjoying relative peace.
The Commission continues to engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholders within and outside the state in pursuance of its mandate. It has been engaging with bilateral and multilateral organisations, leaders of political parties as well as the media. The Commission has also partnered with young people, women groups, community based organisations (CBOs) and sister agencies in other states, particularly Plateau State.
I am proud to inform you that the Commission’s most rewarding success recorded last year was the peacebuilding process involving the Fulani, Atakad and Ganawuri communities of Kaura and Riyom Local Government Areas (Kaduna, Plateau states) that was stepped up. Together with Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), we worked hard to broker peace between the communities and they are enjoying a flourishing, even if relative, peace.
Presently, the Zangon Kataf peace process initiated by the Agwatyap, HRH Dominic Yahaya and which culminated in a peace accord in August 2020, has gathered steam progressively. Similarly, progress has been made in the communal conflicts in Gure (Piriga Chiefdom) of Lere LGA and Rumaya (Kumana Chiefdom) of Kauru LGA. In Kajuru LGA, where Hausa, Fulani and Adara communities had engaged in bloody conflicts and confrontations, there is a sustained thaw now.
It is gratifying that relative calm and social order prevail today in most LGAs where violent conflicts were recurring such as in parts of Kaura, ZangonKataf, Kajuru and Kachia. Through the sustained efforts of the Commission and stakeholders, conflicts and confrontations have reduced considerably. What remain are basically the menace of insecurity, criminal violence, substance abuse, kidnapping, rape and cattle rustling in a few LGAs such as Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Chikun, Giwa and Kachia.
Communal confrontations and conflicts have abated significantly. The state government and security agencies are working tirelessly to address the lingering menace of insecurity and criminality in those areas and other parts of the state. The Commission is continuing with its engagements and facilitating the peace processes in Kajuru, Kaura, Lere, Jema’a and Birnin Gwari Local GovernmentsAreas. In this regard, I would like to appeal to the people, including community, religious, socio-cultural and political leaders to join hands with the Commission in piloting the restoration of good inter-community relations and adherence to the rule of law in the resolution of all forms of disputes.
All temptations to act violently must be resisted, while complaints and grievances should be reported to appropriate authorities for peaceful resolution. Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, I am happy to announce that the Commission has inaugurated Local Government Peace Committees in 20 LGAs. I would also like to seize this opportunity to express the Commission’s appreciation to LG chairmen for cooperating and supporting the inauguration of these committees.
Some LGAs have even gone ahead to support the committees financially and with logistics. The LGPCs will impact positively in peace building processes going on in conflict zones.This is really encouraging. The Commission has received tremendous support and cooperation from domestic and international partners in the area of capacity building support and training community stakeholders and other peace workers. Most of such have been on promoting better communal relations, interest-based negotiation, mediation and peace-building.
This is because community driven initiatives are often the best and more workable approach to building and sustaining peace. During 2020, the Commission, through collaboration with Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Mercy Corps, organized training workshops on Early Warning and Early Response (EW and ER) for traditional rulers, youth and women groups across the state. Another was organized for members of the Kajuru Truth and Reconciliation Committee (KTRC).
Hence, the successes achieved last year is the result of collective teamwork, cooperation and commitment by the people of the state and the various institutions and organisations that remain committed to a vision of a peaceful Kaduna State. Let me use this opportunity to appreciate the various organisations and institutions that have supported the Commission in its work. The Ford Foundation, UNDP, DFID, USIP, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Mercy Corps have continued to provide enormous support whenever and wherever the need arose. The Commission looks forward to more of this support and cooperation.
Finally, the Commission would like to appreciate the goodwill and continuous support ofGovernor Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai and the Kaduna State House of Assembly. Together with traditional rulers, security agencies, LGA chairmen and local and international partners, they contributed in creating an enabling environment that encouraged the Commission and other peacebuilding organisations to work efficiently in the State. They also contributed in building peaceful, prosperous and integrated communities in many communities. We appeal to well-meaning and peace loving Nigerians and institutions to continue to support the Commission and do all they can to ensure that the state remains peaceful.