For the people of Adara Chiefdom with headquarters in Kachia, Kaduna State, today will go down into sad memory as they witnessed the burial of their monarch, Dr Maiwada Raphael Galadima, who was killed penultimate Friday by his abductors. One must salute the maturity and disposition of the Adara Nation for calmly going through the pain of losing a monarch to a murderous gang which have continued to disturb the peace of communities through the killing and kidnapping of their monarchs. While he lived, he was the candle light of what his people stood for: Peace with all men and women of good conscience. In life, he taught his people that there can be no bad peace and that no cost was too high to pay for peace. As long as peace was possible, he spared no efforts to bring it to pass. Little wonder, he paid the supreme price in search for peace.
I saw him only once and was really impressed with his unquenchable quest to bring peace to his people who have become weary and wary of constant attacks from gunmen. From the impression I had gleaned of him from pages of newspapers and other social media platforms before I met him on Wednesday October 17, 2018, the late first class paramount ruler of the Adara Chiefdom was not a troublemaker but a troubleshooter who believed that peace must be pursued, no matter the cost. He knew the devastation of crisis on a people and believed that though there were many reasons for people to reach out for the gauntlet to settle long-held animosity against perceived injustice, he nevertheless knew that vengeance was not the right option in promoting peace and harmonious living.
Members of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), a group founded and sponsored by the Vienna-based King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, popularly known as KAICIID Dialogue Centre, had arrived in Kaduna to begin an advocacy and fact-finding visit to Kaduna State. A key feature of the visit was to have interactions with critical stakeholders like monarchs, groups and security agencies, among others, on why violence and bloodshed persist in the state. Led by the co-chairman of the IDFP Executive Committee, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni, the group had reached out to the Agom Adara to remind him of an earlier scheduled visit to his palace on Thursday, October 18, 2018. Determined to meet with the group, a royal aide was later to inform the group that the monarch was favourably disposed to meet with the IDFP members at his Kaduna residence and not his palace in Kachia as earlier agreed on Wednesday and not Thursday. Reason: He had been summoned to Kaduna for a meeting with Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai. During interaction with the team, the Agom Adara opened up on issues responsible for the recurring violence in not only Nigeria, but also his domain. According to him, three factors are behind the bloodshed. He summed up these factors into three: poverty, deployment of jobless youths as cannon fodder by politicians to feather their nest and religious intolerance. The late Agom Adara noted that poverty was the major reason for crisis, and for the monster to be tackled, government and other stakeholders should work towards ameliorating the biting economic hardship in the land.
The late monarch also identified the constant deployment of teeming unemployed youths by selfish politicians to foment trouble. Calling on government at all levels to create enabling environment for job opportunities for youths, the late monarch called for effective measures to check the negative influence of politicians on vulnerable groups so as to stave off further breakdown of law and order. He was blunt with what he described as religious intolerance among Nigerians. For peace to reign in every community where religious diversity holds sway, mutual respect for one another must be upheld as a cardinal principle. “If you have a situation where particular religious adherents look down on the other members of another religion, peace becomes illusive,” he said
Against the backdrop of the many crises that have rocked various communities in Kaduna State, the late traditional ruler advocated for major roles by monarchs to assist in settling disputes in crisis-ridden areas. For that to be effective, the Nigerian constitution should grant special functions to traditional rulers in order for them to intervene and resolve certain issues confronting peace in various communities. He told the IDFP team that he looked forward to future interactions with them, as there was the need to rally forces towards attainment of peace in not only the state but the entire country. The monarch also availed the team of his readiness to collaborate with the forum in bringing people of diverse backgrounds to work for peace. At the end of the interaction, Dr Galadima left no one in doubt as to his commitment to peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians. Less than 48 hours after this engaging interaction, the team was later to stumble on the scene of his violent abduction where his police orderly, Isuwa Simon, and three palace guards were murdered by the bandits. Their slain bodies have continued to traumatise all who beheld that tragic scene.
The road to healing is no doubt windy and fraught with uncertainties. While the Kasuwan Magani that saw to the massacre of no fewer than 55 persons, the killing of another 24 in Kaduna as confirmed by the state government calls for prompt measures to contain these murdering monsters. It is a fact that crisis is an ill wind that blows no one no good. Apart from driving away development, the people are always the worst for it. The Adara Chiefdom, especially Kasuwan Magani and Kachia, has always been a flashpoint of crisis. While I commend community leaders, state government and religious leaders for maintaining the peace, the days ahead may be fraught with plots to throw our communities into yet another round of bloodshed. The Agom Adara was noted for peace and the best we can do to honour his memory is to strive for peace with all men and women. In the midst of violence, no one is safe. When our team was forced to retreat to Kachia by rod-wielding youths at Doka who were protesting the abduction of the chief on that fateful Friday, I was frightened by their snarling looks. The hopelessness and despair deeply written all over their faces indicate a frightful future for all of us. Pleadings by one of theirs, who was on our team to make us pass through the barricade they have mounted, fell on deaf ears. We eventually escaped their fire only after one of the vehicles on our convoy had its side glasses shattered.
No doubt, today’s burial will witness sermons from clerics on the need for peace. The Kaduna State government is expected to assure people that no stone will be left unturned to bring justice to the murderers of the monarchs. Having paraded some suspects alleged to be behind the killing, the government must walk its talk and go beyond mere arrest. As the Agom Adara is committed to earth, we all must resolve that his death shall never be in vain by ensuring that the culture of crisis that has engendered massive killings and criminal abduction of citizens, among other criminal activities, is terminated.
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