Kaduna State is currently enmeshed in a humanitarian crisis. The Southern part of the state is worst hit and has become the theatre of Fulani herdsmen killings on the farming communities.
For almost 40 years, Kaduna State has experienced multiple ethno-religious crisis which has pitch the Southern part of the state against it northern counterpart. During these crises it was one attack to another with alarming casualties and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
It is in view of the above premise that the African Initiative for Peace building and Advancement (AfriPeace) deem it fit on 14th January, 2020 to unveil it peace initiative in a town hall meeting which was held at House of Justice Kaduna. Amongst the attendees were Destrict Head (Gambo Ibrahim), District Head (Solomon Luka), Salisu Sani (Sarkin Rigasa), Ismail Muhammad (Rigasa Action and Awareness), District Head (Kabir Yahaya), Religious leaders, Youth and Women leaders.
The project which was formally inaugurated on 14th January, 2020 in Kaduna was implemented in Plateau on 5th January, 2020 and same project would also be implemented in Kano.
The reason these states were chosen is because they all have common features of ethno-religious crisis and segregation along religion lines. There is also a deep seated suspicion that is existing between the Christians and Muslims communities that has continued to create tensions and fear.
AfriPeace is willing and ready to work with existing structures across these states to bring about peaceful coexistence and conflict recovery.
Dr. Chris Kwaja is the Team leader of AfriPeace, he said in his address; “the essence of this meeting was to look beyond the crisis of indigeneship and citizenship towards building and strengthening structures for community led reconciliation and conflict recovery in Northern Nigeria, most importantly Kaduna, Plateau and Kano states have suffered monumental violent attacks that has let to marginalization and different settlement pattern along Religious lines as a result of lack of trust for one another.”
The Team leader said further; “he is interested in working with the communities to achieve peace and ensure their diversity becomes their strength. He also said members of the communities have the power to engender peace and sustain peace.”
He encouraged the people to come together to change the discussion to enhance unity, peaceful coexistence and harmonious living.
Therefore, he said AfriPeace is ready to synergize with other actors to build bridges of peace among the people. He charged the people to be free and identify areas of common needs and join hands to work towards addressing them. He also said peace starts from the heart and the people must agree to live peacefully. He lauded women and said they have powerful voices, good will and network need for peace building.
Dr. Kwaja said; “the organization is peace building and dialogue focused. He spoke about synergy amongst existing structures to attain unity and peaceful coexistence.
The Team leader concluded by saying crisis is a result of family failure.”
The traditional Rulers, Religion Leaders, Youth and Women groups who spoke challenged parents to live up to their responsibilities of given their children the best education they could afford and to make sure their children refrain from vices that is likely to cause crisis.
The community leaders also begged that let there be genuine forgiveness and reconciliation among its people. They advise men to treat their wife with respect as by so doing it naturally affect the moral upbringing of the children. They call on the government to always be fair in passing judgement as that is also a factor against peaceful coexistence. They also pointed at lack of employment which has rendered millions of Youth jobless hence nuisance in the society.
The community leaders in a separate remarks applauded the convener and Dr. Kwaja for bringing AfriPeace to Kaduna. They promised to work in synergy to bring back peaceful coexistence in Kaduna as it was known for some years ago.