By Frederick Peters,KADUNA

The ‘Zaman Tare’ project Nigeria,has ended an Intercultural and interreligious Conference on promoting Cultural and ReligiousTolerance in Kaduna state,where it hosted the Kaduna state Peace Commission,civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

The Conference which held in Kaduna on Thursday had the Permanent Commissioner,Kaduna State Peace Commission,Hajia Khadijat Hawaja,speak on the theme”The practical Application of the Kaduna state Peace Commission Law”

According to her,the essence is to conceptualize the law which established the Commission and how far it has practcalized the provision of the law; speaking basically, on activities carried by the Commission since inception 3 years ago

While conceptualizing the conflicts in Kaduna, she said, “talking about the the different divergent groups,ethnic communities that are residents in Kaduna with the religious differences and biases and I also talked about the drivers of conflicts in Kaduna also the enablers of conflicts”

She added ” and also the dynamics that we are beginning to see now which is criminality, so much happening in different parts of Kaduna, courtesy the Inter-communal conflicts that we are having,so criminals have found Kaduna to be a place where they can hide and carry out their evil acts”hence the need for communities to be vigilant,she said

She pointed out that it is however normal having differences considering our kind of diversity saying “conflicts is normal,but it only becomes abnormal and unacceptable when it degenerates to become violent, where innocent lives and property are claimed, basically,these are what we have been talking about”

According to her,the residents and citizens of the state “need to have an understanding of their context,politically, social and economically and also to work together to find lasting peace solution to the problems that have been bedevilling the state”she stated

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She further called on the people of the state,pointing out that since it is will of God that He created us differently and bringing 60 ethnic communities together in the state,there’s the need for all to learn to respect the beliefs, traditions and cultures of one another “so that we can live harmoniously together and at the same time collaborate to see we move Kaduna state forward”

She then urged government to do more on criminality taking over our communities, saying “l think the government is doing what it can,but I think,we can do better, when we tap on the resources that lies with the people, residents of Kaduna, while also canvassing for community policing as “another alternative”she reiterated

On his part,Mr Charles Ndukwe,Senior program Manager, Interfaith Mediation Centre,Kaduna, while commending the effort of government for establishing the Kaduna State Peace Commission, however noted the need for a. strategic connection with ” the ordinary person on the street”. adding that “there should be that unhindered access to the peace Commission;until the common man connects,what the Commission has been established to do may not be accomplished”he averred

Speaking further, he urged the Commission to also look out for what he called they ‘sustaining factors’ in conflict situations According to him,Anywhere you go there are contexts and there are sustaining factors and the cannot be the same all over”saying the factors in Kaduna, may not be same in Kasuwan magani,kafanchan or Zangon Kataf”

Stressing that “as body charged with bringing about peace in Kaduna it behooves on them to go to those contexts and find out what are they sustaining factors and until that is done,you will be treating the symptoms other than the disease itself”he maintained

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Similarly,in his submission,the Coordinator,JDPC/DPI,Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Rev. Fr.Joshua Yima Achir,while calling on people to live in peace, said for sustainable peace to reign ” there must be Justice,and when there’s justice,then you can begin to talk about development So where there’s no justice,there’s no peace, don’t even talk about development, because it just won’t work out that way”he stressed

According to him,when we become complacent with the Truth a lot of ill-things happen ” so am of the opinion that no matter what happens people should speak the Truth, the Truth is only one,if you speak a lie,you need more lies inorder to support the lie,but if yo speak the Truth you do not need to look for more truths in order to support that one truth”he added

One of the participants, a community leader in Kakuri,Alh. Sani T. Idris,while describing ZAMAN TARE project as ‘Wonderful’ commended them for their peace education on need to live together. He lamented the manipulation of Religion and ethnicity by politicians to cause conflicts and get votes during elections,, saying that “no one can deceive us any long” he stated

On his part, the Project Coordinator,ZAMAN TARE project in Nigeria, Barrister Cletus Aloke,said as part of their mandate”we are supposed to also look for how we can strengthen policy documents that has to do with peace and we discovered that one of such policy documents is the Kaduna state Peace Commission Law which was created in 2017,or thereabout”

According to him,the provision of the law that mandated the state government to create the Peace Commission allows its operation in five years,” after which the state House of assembly can make further amendment for it to continue to be in operation, adding ” so this is an opportunity for us to like a stocktake of the Peace Commission law

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“Its practical application because most times, making a law is one thing,whether the law is acceptable to the people is another thing” that is why we gathered stakeholders today first from the Peace Commission,then the CSOs and the communities to Xray the law,whether actually, what the law stated has been in operation in our respective communities”he stated


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