The Chairman of the Kaduna State Peace Commission (KAPECOM), His Grace, Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon expressed his disaffection that, the 8th Quarterly meeting of the commission is taking place when the world is
grappling with managing the ravishing COVID- 19 pandemic.
It is also taking place at a time that our state has witnessed another wave of violent attacks and killings in Kajuru, Kaura, Kauru, Kachia, Chikun, Igabi and very recently Zango Kataf LGAs.
He continued, “There are also threats to peace either in the form of inter-communal tensions or criminal activities in Sanga, Jema’a, Kagarko, Birnin Gwari and Giwa. Within Kaduna metropolis, there is a need for sustained surveillance over likely criminal acts by gangsters particularly in Kaduna North and South, Zaria and Sabon Gari LGAs of the State.
“The Commission condemns these attacks and deeply commiserates with individuals and groups who have suffered losses and untold hardship during this period.
“We commend the efforts of Government and Security Agencies to stem the tide of violence and address insecurity in the state. We welcome in particular, the special forces of the Nigerian Military to the Southern parts of the state on a special assignment to address the security challenges in the area.
“There is absolutely no doubt the presence of the Special Forces is an added impetus and a refreshing dose of energy that will complement the efforts already invested in building sustainable peace in the southern part of the state as well as ensuring security.
“We commend the efforts of diverse stakeholders, including officials of the State Government, traditional and religious leaders, leaders of political parties, respected citizens and elder statesmen, elected representatives at the national and state level, civil society organisations (CSOs), community based organisations (CBOs), women and youth groups, and the media, among many others, who are working hard to ensure stability and peace in the state. The Commission believes that working with stakeholders, including community, religious, youth, women, traditional and political leaders, will encourage dialogue and mediation efforts. Through these groups, creative community driven initiatives can be undertaken and sustained. An example of this is the Kajuru Truth and Reconciliation Committee (KTRC) whose members have already participated in training programmes and have also organized stepped down programmes for volunteers at ward level.
“So far, the Peace Commission has taken the lead in organizing communities and stakeholders towards restoring social cohesion and sustainable peace in communities in local government areas (LGAs), namely Kajuru, Kauru, Kaura, Lere, Giwa, Zangon Kataf, Sanga and Igabi. The Commission has also invested in capacity building support for community stakeholders in negotiation and mediation, and peacebuilding in the belief that community-driven initiatives involving state and non-state actors working together, offer the best workable approach towards achieving sustainable peace.
“The most practical and rewarding achievements have been the peace building process involving the Atakad and Ganawuri communities of Kaura and Riyom Local Government Areas of Kaduna and Plateau States respectively. The other obvious success story is the community-led peace process in Atyap Chiefdom which culminated in the peace summit on the 22nd August 2020. We are foreseeing similar successes with the Kajuru peace process and also Gure in Piriga Chiefdom of Lere and Rumaya in Kumana Chiefdom of Kauru Local Government Areas respectively. Both have assumed great momentum and we are very hopeful that in the not-toodistant future, the two processes would be used as templates for other areas that are experiencing challenges in the state.
“I would like to call on the residents of the state to take advantage of the space and window of respite we are getting with the presence of the special forces. This is an opportunity we have to restructure our priorities by coming together to genuinely work for lasting peace. Only through working together as brothers and sisters, and good neighbours can we guarantee ourselves security and peace which are the perquisites for progress, development and prosperity for present and future generations.
We thank His Excellency Mallam Nasir Ahmad el Rufai and the Government of Kaduna State for their continuous support for our work. We also appreciate all the development partners who continue to support our work towards promoting peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the state.”