By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) has cautioned Kaduna communities on seeing violence or reprisal attacks as the best form of revenge, saying they should not ‘import violence from one community to another’ as it is dangerous.
Project Director of Community Initiative to Promote Peace, (CIPP) in the state, Pastor (Dr) James Wuje, stated this during a Town Hall meeting to promote dialogue in Ungwan Yero and Badarawa Communities in Kaduna North Local Government Area on Thursday, August 21, 2020.
The event which was organized by IMC in partnership with Kaduna State Government to promote peace among three communities in Kaduna North LGS, had in attendance; Chairman of the council, Hon. Saleh Shuaibu, and a host of participants from the communities.
The CIPP activity is aimed at mitigating violent conflict in at-risk communities in six states in the North-West, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina; and North-Central states of Benue Plateau and Kogi through an integrated and multifaceted programm.
He disclosed that the S’Kaduna challenges has started a new narrative which IMC felt that if these communities are not quickly engaged in dialogue could escalate into violence.
Explaining further, the Director informed that youngmen from these communities who hitherto have agreed to live in peace suddenly began to talk, and the talk is escalating where they talk about S’Kaduna issues.
“It is a dangerous trend and if Kaduna catches fire over issues happening in S’Kaduna it will not be good. That’s why IMC is being proactive, and we are happy the media is here to pass the message across to the citizens.
“These communities: Badarawa, Ungwan Yero, and Kwaro has a natural boundary of a gully and have hitherto agreed to live in peace, but suddenly due to the challenges in S’Kaduna, residents started debating among themselves who would die or not.
“The Government, community leaders, CSOs, NGOs and CIPP in IMC have already visited these communities and met with both parties.
“We have met with Christians at the IDPs camp in Zonkwa. We have also gone to Mariri and Laduga to meet with the Fulani who were also displaced by the conflict to say they need to forgive one another,” he said.
Wuye said this moves are being taken in Kaduna so that citizens don’t import the problems in the far south into the center of the state capital, pointing out that it will be difficult to manage if Kaduna catches fire.
“We are appealing to these communities to exercise restrain, and go for dialogue,” he cautioned.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Chairman of Kaduna North LGA, Hon Shuaibu, said the event is very important and timely and appreciated the organizers, saying what the organizers are doing is to consolidate the efforts of the State Government in trying to achieve peace across the state.
“You see without peace there will be no development in any given society. Without peace we can’t even perform our religious obligations like prayer. The same thing in our socioeconomic wellbeing and other fields of human endeavour.
“We’ve done so much in terms of security in this council. For example, in Rafin-Kusa the council has constructed a Police Division there. In Ungwan Yero, Badarawa, Malali, there is another Police Station constructed by the council all with the aim to maintained peace in the council.
“I appreciate my people for their support and cooperation given my administration, and the State Government, ” he said.
Hon Shuaibu pledged the support of his Council to do everything possible to support this kind of activity.