The Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria on Thursday, hosted an all-inconclusive meeting of critical stakeholders of Southern Kaduna as it continued its longstanding mediation for dialogue, reconciliation and peace building in Southern Kaduna where several communities have experienced violent crisis resulting in loss of lives and destruction of properties in the past.
This is coming after the organization successfully brokered a similar peace deal and reconciliation in June 2017 between the Fulanis and Natives of Kaninkon Chiefdom in Southern Kaduna.
GPF Nigeria, which had held several separate meetings with each of the stakeholder groups and communities since January, for the first time brought them together for the Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Meeting.
In attendance at the meeting in Kafanchan were leaders and representatives of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MABCAN), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Jema’a Foundation, Local Fulanis and other Southern Kaduna stakeholders.
Chiefdoms and communities that suffered violence in recent past including Kaninkon, Godogodo, Numana, Moroa, Atakar, Chawai, Kagoma, and Dangoma which is the Fulani District under Kaninkon Chiefdom were all represented by their leaders.
In his remarks, the Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria Mr. John Oko thanked all the stakeholders and community leaders that have been involved in the ongoing consultations and mediation process over the past several months which have culminated to the meeting being held today.
He said: “It is our hope that today will mark the beginning of the important part of the process of our working together for Peace building in Southern Kaduna which is fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development.”
“During the consultations, one point we heard repeatedly was that everyone was tired of the hostilities and wanted it to end. We believe that this meeting today should send a clear signal that the end of the violence has come, and going forward, you will all work together to resolve all pending issues. I want to assure you that Global Peace Foundation is committed to supporting you in that process until lasting peace returns to Southern Kaduna.” Oko added.
Northern Nigeria Co-Coordinators of Global Peace Foundation, Sheikh Halliru Abdullahi Maraya and Rev. John Joseph Hayab earlier in their opening remarks reminded the people the crisis has affected every family in the State while calling for the killings to stop and give peace a permanent place. They reminded the participants that ’’We are One Family Under God.”
Also speaking, President of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Solomon Musa said the group would not support killings in the area. “We in SOKAPU will not support killing of human beings or animals, we will defend the Hausas, Fulanis, Bajjus, Jabas or any other tribe; we are committed to peace and justice.’’
Leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) delegates Alhaji Haruna Usman Tugga, urged all to live as brothers and sisters, stressing that, “we must forget the past for a brighter future, we must support peace for development.’’
Jema’a Foundation President Alhaji Abdullahi Zubairu, said all parties need peace, and urged all stakeholders to go back to the olden days when everybody lived peacefully as one.
Leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) John Bwankwot and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Audu Barau, both urged the people to learn to live together as one to engender love and understanding.
Several other speakers during the meeting thanked the Global Peace Foundation for her fairness, commitment, and efforts throughout the mediation process while calling on participants to take the message of peace and reconciliation to the various groups they represent.
A highlight of the meeting was a ceremony where attendees embraced each other as a sign of forgiveness and reconciliation.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was the consensus that Global Peace Foundation should constitute a Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee with membership representing the stakeholder groups and communities which will work together going forward to resolve all pending issues in order for lasting peace to return to Southern Kaduna.