BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Joint Peace Committee (SKJPC) with support from the United States Agency for International Development – Nigeria Early Response Initiative (USAID-NERI) has indicated commitment to ensure that lasting peace is restored in various communities in Southern Kaduna.
Southern part of Kaduna State has been embroiled in various forms of communal crisis and attacks, which have led to, loss of lives and destruction of property in recent time.
The SKJPC which was inaugurated in September 2020, is a committee of five Muslims and five Christians carefully selected and inaugurated at the end of Southern Kaduna Peace Summit held at Throne room Kafanchan organised by the Nigerian Christians Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) under the leadership of its executive secretary, Rev. Yakubu Pam in conjunction with the Friends of Southern Kaduna, that included, Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the executive secretary of TETFund. The summit had the blessings of the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai.
Addressing a press conference at the Kaduna State University (KASU) campus, the committee informed that the governor, Mallam El-Rufai has promised to work with them at all times to ensure that lasting peace is returned to Southern Kaduna.
According to the text of the press conference which was read by Dr Ahmad Yande the co-chairman, the committee as part of its short-term activities has visited virtually all the chiefdoms and emirates in Southern Kaduna, met and addressed 21 chiefs and emirs with message of peace building and cordial relationship.
The text of the briefing which was jointly signed by Professor Benjamin K. Gugong (co-chairman), Dr Ahmad Yande (co-chairman), Alhaji Abdullahi A. Zubairu (co-secretary) and Reverend Dr Reuben Luka Turbi (co-secretary) reiterated that the committee is a product of a strong desire by the Southern Kaduna people to end all conflicts and ensure that peace reigns once more in Southern Kaduna.
“The committee’s mandate is to ensure that there is sustained peace in all communities in Southern Kaduna. At the beginning of the committee’s work, we held series of meetings in Kaduna to lay out a framework for constructive engagement, and we came up with short term, medium term and long-term activities to ease our work.
“We argued that living together in peace, benefits us all and the region could overcome most of the social and economic problems it faces once there is peace. Our expectations are that the visit to the traditional rulers will open channels of communication, strengthen the skills needed to ensure peace, reestablishes local remediation and conflict resolution mechanisms in our communities.
“The committee will like to appreciate the overwhelming support of USAID-NERI. In many communities in Kajuru, Jema’a and Zango Kataf, USAID-NERI is working to restore peace by building houses that have been destroyed, installing solar street lights and drilling of bore holes in affected communities. Not only is the healing process very fast in communities that USAID-NERI is carrying out intervention, stakeholders have also been very sincere in their efforts for genuine peace,” the committee stressed.
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