A LETTER TO MY PEOPLE SOUTHERN KADUNA: A PEACE PACT IS A SEAL OF RECONCILIATION NOT A PROCESS OF RECONCILIATION
It would be recalled that early this year Southern Kaduna Signed a peace pact, as was reported in page 14 of the Splendor of Truth News Paper Vol. 6 No 4 of April, 2016. The pact was tagged ‘Kafanchan Peace Declaration’ which the center for humanitarian dialogue facilitated as sponsored by the Canadian government subject to the inter-communal dialogue process initiated by her last year in areas affected by the 2015 communal clashes. In the report, Five Local Government areas were said to have been covered in this pact to include as reported; Sanga, Kachia, Kaura, Zangon Kataf and Jama’a. This pact was signed by Christian and Islam representatives within the areas covered. But just after this drama and what could be better described as a day dream, the next we heard was yet another attack much more terrible in Jama’a Local Government Area.
To this regard many commented for and against the pact. In my last epistle titled “An Open Letter to My Leaders: I Hear Gurara Cry We No Longer need Peace But Justice” I rised some fundamental questions regarding that pact. I attempt bringing to our consciences the fact that we are not ready for no peace pact now. And I gave my reasons which I shall still repeat here.
This morning again we woke up from our little one eye sleep only to be greeted with yet another news of a peace pact and this time with a larger number of over 29 communities involved in the signing. This particular pact is reported in today (26/10/2016)’s print and electronic media. It is reported as being lead by a Swiss Humanitarian Body.
Dear Traditional, Religious and Political Leaders, Dear Elders, Parents, brothers and Sisters I seek to know:
1. What peace pact could be signed in southern Kaduna now?
2. With whom are we signing the peace Pact?
3. What knowledge of grievances against us as held by our attackers do we have?
4. Who in fact is the attacker?
5. To what extend can we say the attacker is truly ready to lay down arms?
6. Before the signing ot at the venue of the signing how many weapons were surrendered and by who?
If we cannot positively answer this questions raised and many others, I stand to say without fear of contradiction that Southern Kaduna is dancing yet into another trap.
In the last letter I asked and I am still asking, for how long shall we be fooled and distracted into this ventures of signing for peace and entering into dialogues that never yields any thing fruitful as far as the desired goal is concern? why should we keep signing a document with the very wrong fellows?
I call it signing with the wrong fellows because both those who signed the last peace pact and those who signed the present from our attackers side will surely tell us they do not know who the culprits of the last and present attacks are. Those we keep signing with are those who will better prove that they are in total ignorance of the attacks and those behind it than they would prove it is those we suspect are.
Once again I still see a painted picture of a father who has a very stubborn child, he knows this child will never listen to his words that is in fact if he is even able to set eyes on this stubborn child. But while the child is busy planning for his next crime the father is in bed and at the moment of the child’s execution of is planned crime, the father will be at the oath desk taking an oath and signing documents ordinarily his son should.
In my little wisdom, I feel the need for reconciliation arises only after we truly know who is attacking us, why the attack, and after we have accepted the solutions we arrive at together with our attacker and then after meeting all we require of each other then the signing can come in which case it will be but the seal of our reconciliation.
But what do I see? we are signing for peace over a problem we have no grasp of let alone talk of reconciliation about, we are signing with who we know will forever claim he is not aware of the problem and at a time we should be busy building our defense. This is a fruitless venture, it is fruitless and only a distraction to the victims in waiting. We are always the victims and always it is to us the plea for peace, calm, and tolerance is addressed.
I wish to call us to order, SOKAPU cannot be making a press release that is laying unanswered and in another angle signing a peace pact. We know how localities in Jama’a Local Government are laying cold with no sound of humans but the Fulani who are grazing on the peoples Farms at a time Government are calling for the revival of the Agricultural sector. We are all aware of the situation in Pasakori and Gidan Waya axis as at this moment. Bearing these facts in mind one would want to ask, What is the Peace Pact addressing?
To this regard I humbly make these prayers:
1. That Southern Kaduna should clearly defined who is speaking for her at this moment.
2. That southern Kaduna should come up with conditions that must me met before signing any Pact.
3. That among those conditions in 2, above southern Kaduna should clearly seek to know;
a. Who is attacking her.
b. For what purpose is she attacked.
c. Have the purpose for the attack been achieved?
c. Who sues for the peace?
d. Have the attackers truly lay their arms?
e. Where are the arms.
f. Why are the attackers in fact laying the arms?
For unless and until these are favorably answered there is no need for entering into any agreement.
4. That SOKAPU should stage out a global protest against this issues.
5. That Southern Kaduna should agree and walk as a group than fighting this as individuals.
We appreciate the international bodies for their interventions, but I will better appreciate our leaders to seek the help of this international bodies more on trying to know what really the problem is because we cannot solve a problem without knowing what the problem is. The problem with southern Kaduna is not that she is attacked. The attack is just a result of the problem. So we must seek to know why we are attacked, what our attackers need.
Fellow comrades, I want you to bear this fact in mind that there are only two reasons that could make our attackers lay down there arms. These reason would be:
1. That they (they attackers) have achieved the aim of attacking us, or
2. That they are forced or over powered that they have no way but to lay down their arms.
Clearly you would see a peace pact is not part of this.
Lastly, dear Comrades, My leaders, brothers and Sisters, we must never forget that signing for peace should be the last thing in the process. We would only sign for peace after reconciliation. Get me very clearly on this. A peace pact is a seal of reconciliation and not a reconciliation process. Signing pacts as these would only distract us to our attackers gain.
This I Humbly Submit.
Jubal Free-man Dabo B.