Frequent displacement and takeover of communities and farmlands by violent invaders might threaten peace in Nigeria’s Southern Kaduna region beyond expectation.
Stakeholders at a peace summit last Tuesday to Thursday in Kafanchan, were upset about the trend, as well as “incessant killings, kidnapping, cattle rustling and shielding of criminals”.
In a communiqué at the end of the summit organized by the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) in collaboration with interfaith groups and “concerned” Southern Kaduna natives demanded a stop to criminal trespass and destruction of farm crops.
The communiqué equally frowned at government policies excluding traditional leaders from peace processes.
Inciting comments and actions by government officials, as well as sensational news media reports, the communiqué said were equally escalating tensions.
The communiqué signed by Prof. Abdullahi Ashafa and Rev. Prof. Sunday Bobai Agang therefore warned against actions or comments that make people feel “they don’t belong”.
The 3-day peace Summit with the theme: “The De-escalation of Conflict in Southern Kaduna And The Way Forward” held at Throne-Room, Kafanchan aimed to create a platform to assess and deliberate on issues, triggers and solutions to conflicts in SK.
The summit was attended by over 200 participants from both native Kaduna and Fulani herder communities.
It was declared open by Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam with other dignitaries in attendance.
Papers presented included “Strategies for Mitigating and De-escalating of Violent Killings in Southern Kaduna
Promoting Interfaith Dialogue and Inter-Community Dialogue as a Panacea for Peace-Building in Southern Kaduna”,
“Bridging the gap in the Southern Kaduna Conflict Narrative: Perspectives about the role of Women, Youth and Children”, as well as
“Approaches to Post Conflict Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Victims of violence in Southern Kaduna”.
A ten-man local peace committee was formed at the end of the forum to step down the summit and continually resolve issues regarding farmer-herder conflicts in the area.