BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN AND NONYE EKWENUGO Kaduna
Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza el-Rufai has Inaugurated the Women Peace building Council as part of measures to facilitate and elevate the role of women in peace building, governance and sustainable conflict prevention in Kaduna state.
The Women Peace building Council is a platform that will bring together Sixty (60) women of influence from various communities and religious backgrounds to champion peace, development and stability in their communities.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after the inaugural ceremony, the Executive officer Kaduna state peace commission, Ms Priscilla Ankut said, the women were drawn from Kachia, Zaria, Kaduna North and Kajuru Local Government Areas of Kaduna state.
Ankut also urged women to also advocate for peace and shun any action that can escalate violence, “we expect them to share the peace not only in their homes , to transform it to their communities, state and the nation at large”.
The council among others will create and expand platforms for grassroots women to meaningfully address triggers of violence, gender inequities and discrimination.
Speaking at the inaugurating in Kaduna, Hajiya el-rufai described the importance attached to the Initiative as priceless, and noted that it is the first time Kaduna will inaugurate peace building council comprising of only women in the state..
She tasked them as mothers to work tirelessly in ensuring peace is sustained at various community levels. “You are key stakeholders in peace building across the world,” she said.
The women peace building initiative was facilitated by Mercy Corps in collaboration with Kaduna state government, through the office of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development.
Supporting sustainable peace, and be part of decision-making and peace building processes at the community, LGA and state levels, she stated.
The initiative is supported by Mercy Corp’s Community initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP) program, funded by the US Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Initiative will also deepen women’s engagement in peacebuilding in Kaduna state by strengthening their capacities to advocate for, prevent and resolve conflict. This event commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security.
Mrs Ankut disclosed that 60 women were drawn from Kachia, Zaria, Kaduna North and Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna state Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe said that the initiative will help to address the root causes of violent conflict that ravaged some communities.
“This structure will help address the root causes of violent conflicts that ravaged some of our communities and some of the debilitating effects they caused.
“We have taken several measures to forestall conflicts, intolerance, and initiate processes to foster peaceful coexistence through communal dialogue”.
Represented by the Deputy chief of staff in the office of deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Barrister James Kanyip, reiterated that the state government “established Kaduna Peace Commission to set up a mechanism for early detection of conflict signs and prevention.
Also speaking, the Senior program Officer gender and inclusive of Mercy Corps initiative, Amina Akano-Bello reiterated that the program is committed to amplify the voices of women and addressing gender gap in conflict prevention, management and peace building .
Akano-Bello also noted that conflict have been on the rise in the Nigeria’s North central region with devastating consequences on development, democracy, security, economy and human lives, she added.