By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Media practitioners have been tasked to be objective and analytical in reporting the present crisis bedeviling the Southern Kaduna region.
This was stated in a communiqué issued after a one-day high level interreligious dialogue meeting held in Kaduna on Thursday, August 6, 2020.
The communiqué stated that media practitioners should douse the tension via their reportage, not escalating it.
The meeting organized by Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, (IDFP), Kaduna state chapter with support from EC Zaman Tare Project, called for the establishment of community police to help in gathering and sharing of intelligence.
Religious and Traditional leaders according to the communiqué, should be given space to help in solving the conflicts because they have strength within the community.
The communiqué called on the Government to address the issue of indigene/settlers.
“Participants agreed that there is need for establishment of interfaith rapid response team at all levels to avert and also manage conflicts in the state.
“Participants agreed that Government should be seen to be balance in distribution of structures, resources, opportunities irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations.
“Participants called on Nigerians including Governments to look at conflicts objectively devoid of ethno-religious or political interest.
“Government should establish an Early Warning Early Response System, (EWER) across the state involving all stakeholders.”
In his paper titled: “Religious leaders Role to Promote Dialogue as a Strategy for Mitigating Violent Conflict Escalation in Southern Kaduna”, Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Median Centre, Rev (Dr) James Wuye, said the tension in Southern Kaduna has taken several dimensions, from sociocultural to ethno-religious.
He said to address this manipulative tendencies by religious and political conflict entrepreneurs, we need to work on constructing new inclusive narratives for the next generations.
He added that inclusivity and sincere dialogue is the best way to deal with differences.
“We need to speak out for the vulnerable in the society, we need to heal the memories passed to us by our parents and the past generation, we need to name the evil and work on a process of genuine forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said.