BY MIDAT JOSEPH, Kaduna
Natives of Kaninkon and Fulanis of Dangoma district of Kaninkon Chiefdom in Southern Kaduna have agreed to embark on peace building process in the area.
The Chiefdom had been engulfed in crisis following attacks from herders on the natives.
The two groups made the resolution during a capacity building workshop on peace building organized by the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria at the headquarters of Kaninkon chiefdom.
The workshop comes after a series of mediation efforts by the Foundation which began in January 2017 after several attacks resulting to killings and destruction of properties in the area.
Speaking at the program, co-coordinators of Global Peace Foundation in Northern Nigeria, Sheikh Halliru Abdullahi Maraya and Rev. John Joseph Hayab welcomed the participants and reminded them of the journey made so far.
Rev. Hayab said: “We began this journey in January with several meetings with most of you in your various communities when the killings and destructions were still going on. Today, we are building on the foundation of the understanding we all had during the Peace and Reconciliation Meeting after which we held training workshops for you in your various groups individually for Traditional Rulers/Elders, Faith Leaders, Women Leaders and Youth Leaders. To build back the peace after a violent conflict such as has been witnessed in Kaninkon land, community members must be ready to forgive one another and see themselves all as winners over the devil who initiated the conflict in the first place having been able to sit down at the negotiation table.”
He reminded participants of the kind of inter-dependent and mutually beneficial relationships that existed between the Natives and Fulanis in Southern Kaduna over the ages, adding that once a community imbibes the culture of service where members irrespective of their differences unite to conceive, plan and execute community service projects for the good of all, it will strengthen the bond of unity and peaceful coexistence amongst them.
Also speaking, Sheikh Maraya reminded participants that as everyone had the fundamental human right to life, own properties, practice any religion and freedom of expression.
“We are very hopeful judging from the way events have unfolded that this chiefdom is on the right path towards achieving sustainable peace because you have accepted to forgive one another, you have accepted to visit one another, you have accepted to help one another and you have also accepted to pay no attention to rumors,” he added.
Country Director of Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, John Oko, noted that normalcy has been gradually returning to once a trouble chiefdom after its peace and reconciliation meeting in June.
“One Family under God’ Campaign peacebuilding program is aim at ensuring that sustainable and lasting peace returns to the communities.
Prominent Sons and daughters of the communities, elder Abokie Galadima, Hon. Husseini Dembo, Imam Abdullahi Sa’adu, Rev. Wakili D. Kadima, Zainab Dauda and District Head of Ungwar Fari, Dick Dembo who spoke at the event expressed willingness to begin the process of peace building among the citizens of the area.
Former Chief of Staff to late Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna said, “the natives of Kaninkon, Dangoma, Fulanis, Christians and Muslims must come together and unite.”
Hon. Husseini Dembo, a Former Commissioner in Kaduna State urged members of the chiefdom to embrace dialogue and avoid anything that could trigger.
In attendance at the peace building workshop were 160 Muslims and Christians, comprising 40 Traditional Rulers/Elders, 40 Faith Leaders, 40 Women Leaders and 40 Youth Leaders who were representing the 8 Kaninkon Districts of Goska, Ambam, Bakin Kogi, Tudun Wada, Amere, Angwar Fari, Angwar Baki and Dangoma.