By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Peace Commission (KAPECOM) has informed that as part of measures in working with the government and people of the state in creating a culture of peace, peace committees have been inaugurated in 20 out of the 23 local government areas in the state.
KAPECOM Chairman, His Grace, Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon expressed this while briefing the press at KAPECOM’s Quarterly Meeting at its headquarters in Kaduna on April 6, 2021.
“Together we worked with the government and people of Kaduna to create a culture of durable peace and social tranquillity. At that time, many parts of the state were facing challenges of violent conflicts.
“Today such conflicts have reduced tremendously and these communities are enjoying relative peace,” he said.
According to him, the Commission continues to engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholders within and outside the state in pursuance of its mandate.
“It has been engaging with bilateral and multilateral organisations, leaders of political parties as well as the media,” he added.
He said that only a couple of months ago, specifically November, 2020, the Commission marked its third year of existence, having been inaugurated on 2nd November 2017.
“During the occasion, we had cause to inform you of the enormous successes achieved in engendering peace in the state despite daunting challenges.
“These successes were achieved through the hard work of the Commission, the support of Governor Ahmed Nasir el-Rufai, Local Government Council chairmen, stakeholders, including community, religious, women and youth leaders, traditional rulers, security agencies, civil society organisations, NGOs and development partners,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that the Commission has also partnered with young people, women groups, community based organisations (CBOs) and sister agencies in other states, particularly Plateau State.
“I am proud to inform you that the Commission’s most rewarding success recorded last year was the peacebuilding process involving the Fulani, Atakad and Ganawuri communities of Kaura and Riyom Local Government Areas (Kaduna, Plateau states) that was stepped up.
“Together with Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), we worked hard to broker peace between the communities and they are enjoying a flourishing, even if relative, peace.
“Presently, the Zangon Kataf peace process initiated by the Agwatyap, HRH Dominic Yahaya and which culminated in a peace accord in August 2020, has gathered steam progressively,” he added.
Idowu-Fearon said that similarly, progress has been made in the communal conflicts in Gure (Piriga Chiefdom) of Lere LGA and Rumaya (Kumana Chiefdom) of Kauru LGA. In Kajuru LGA, where Hausa, Fulani and Adara communities had engaged in bloody conflicts and confrontations, there is a sustained thaw now.
“It is gratifying that relative calm and social order prevail today in most LGAs where violent conflicts were recurring such as in parts of Kaura, Zangon Kataf, Kajuru and Kachia.
“Through the sustained efforts of the Commission and stakeholders, conflicts and confrontations have reduced considerably.
“What remain are basically the menace of insecurity, criminal violence, substance abuse, kidnapping, rape and cattle rustling in a few LGAs such as BirninGwari, Igabi, Chikun, Giwa and Kachia. Communal confrontations and conflicts have abated significantly,” he added.
KAPECOM Chairman praised the state government and security agencies for working tirelessly to address the lingering menace of insecurity and criminality in those areas and other parts of the state.
He assured that the Commission is continuing with its engagements and facilitating the peace processes in Kajuru, Kaura, Lere, Jema’a and Birnin Gwari local government areas.
“In this regard, I would like to appeal to the people, including community, religious, socio-culturaland political leaders to join hands with the Commission in piloting the restoration of good inter-community relations and adherence to the rule of law in the resolution of all forms of disputes.
“All temptations to act violently must be resisted, while complaints and grievances should be reported to appropriate authorities for peaceful resolution,” he advised.
He announced that the Commission has inaugurated Local Government Peace Committees in 20 LGAs.
“I would also like to seize this opportunity to express the Commission’s appreciation to LG chairmen for cooperating and supporting the inauguration of these committees.
“Some LGAs have even gone ahead to support the committees financially and with logistics. The LGPCs will impact positively in the peace building and peace building processes going on in conflict zones.This is really encouraging,” he said.