By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna, Aug. 25, 2020 The Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has called on communities to initiate processes for lasting peace involving all members of their communities, to end the circles of violence in the state.
The chairman made the call during the commission’s quarterly meeting held on Tuesday in Kaduna where he called via zoom to join the meeting.
According to him, communities especially in southern Kaduna should take advantage of the presence of the military to restructure their priorities by coming together to genuinely work for lasting peace.
“Only through working together as brothers and sisters, and good neighbours can we guarantee ourselves security and peace which are the perquisites for progress, development and prosperity for present and future generations.
“We welcome in particular, the special forces of the Nigerian military to the Southern parts of the state on a special assignment to address the security challenges in the area.”
He noted that the presence of the special forces is an added impetus and a refreshing dose of energy that will complement the efforts already invested in building sustainable peace in southern Kaduna, as well as ensuring security, mutual trust and development.
According to him, their presence alone is not going to bring about peace overnight, but will provide the needed space for all the communities in the area to step up efforts towards resolving lingering challenges and mistrust among them.
Idowu-Fearon, however, called for sustained surveillance to curtail activities of criminal gangs who may hide under the current crisis to attack innocent people.
He said that the commission condemned the latest attacks and deeply commiserated with individuals and groups who have suffered losses and untold hardship during the period.
The commission chairman commended the efforts of diverse stakeholders, including officials of the State Government, traditional and religious leaders, working hard to ensure stability and peace in the state.
He explained that the Commission has taken the lead in organizing communities and stakeholders towards restoring social cohesion and sustainable peace in communities in local government areas.
Idowu-Fearon added that the commission had also invested in capacity building support for community stakeholders in negotiation, mediation and peace building.
He said this was necessary as “community-driven initiatives involving state and non-state actors working together, offer the best workable approach towards achieving sustainable peace.”
He listed areas where the commission intervened to include Atakad and Ganawuri communities of Kaura and Riyom Local Government Areas of Kaduna and Plateau States and the community-led peace process in Atyap Chiefdom on Aug. 22.
“We are foreseeing similar successes with the Kajuru peace process and also Gure in Piriga Chiefdom of Lere.”
The commission chairman stressed that the target was to ensure security and mutual trust for sustainable peace across southern Kaduna and other parts of the state.
He appreciated the Kaduna state government and development partners who continued “to support our work towards promoting peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the state.”