By Frederick Peters,KADUNA.
Some Postgraduate Students of Kaduna State university,doing a research on lnterreligious and Intercultural pluralism,under the Zaman Tare project’ scholarship initiative have advocated for concerted measures in addressing the issues of conflicts and intolerance in Kaduna state.
They students and participants called on government,policy makers and stakeholders to do the needful towards addressing the plethora of religious,ethnic conflicts that has bedevilled the state with special focus on the four metropolitan local government areas of the state namely, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Chikun and Igabi.
At the end of a 2-Day public Lecture/dissemination of knowledge seminar held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the University,the student researchers underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence for any meaningful development in the State and Country
Speaking a Postgraduate Student,from the CRS Department of the university, Ishaya Turaki,on the research “Religious and Politics: A catalyst for religious and cultural conflicts in Kaduna state” said it is geared towards bringing people together, so that they can live in peace and enjoy the progress and blessing of the land.
“We observed that people are really tired of the experiences on ground, what has been happening over the years,so we tried to confirm from them the causes of the conflicts that have been happening in the state and the raised observations how politicians would come and entice them and at the end end cause confusion to get what they have interest on” he said
He further learnt that because some religious leaders want to prove that they are better than others the instigate their adherents ” and the end of the day you have religious crisis and the same is applicable with ethnicity “he added
” I recommended that the government should be proactive and try to bring people to live together. He pointed out that they traditional rulers that were sacked by the government have very important role to play for the peace of their area”that is why I called for their re- institution or reinstatement, so that the government will task them to keep their environment safe and anyone found wanting should be stripped of his position”he added
He then urged all and sundry to relive the life of peaceful coexistence witnessed in the past,remove our population dislocations, come together,accept our differences and see the strength in our differences;then we will be able to make a better society,he said.
Similarly,a MSc Student,Department of Political science of Kaduna State University, while speaking on the “Effect of electronic Media in Ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna Metropolis “the focal point of his presentation are FRCN Kaduna and KSMC.
He said ” the paper made it clear that Radio, electronic media has caused alot of lives and property. I tried to give an instance of the first world war” He also gave an instance of how Radio caused the Hutu/Tutsi ethnic cleansing, the Biafra Radio and the the role of FRCN Kaduna” that caused conflicts in Zangon Kataf,in 1992″ he added
He however noted that his findings lately in the four metropolitan local governments showed that”the electronic media of FRCN and KSMC are trying in bringing down any issue of ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state”
Adding”the researcher also went ahead to find out that the electronic media of FRCN and KSMC Kaduna, served as a weapon,tool or instrument of bringing ethno-religious tolerance in Kaduna state” thereby recommending that they abide by NBC codes and their professional ethics.
On his part,a Lecturer at the Department of Political science of the University and Coordinator of Zaman Tare in KASU,Dr Yakubu Haruna Jare,said the event was an excellent one,but”we wished our politicians, our first class traditional rulers and first class Emirs are here present,because of the knowledge of the findings by the students in the field of work”he stated
He hinted further that in future engagements,they hope to invite policy makers,religious leaders, traditional rulers and the politicians holding political positions, adding that “the issues raised include, the need for mutual respect, tolerance, friendliness,togetherness and respect to other people’s faith,ethnic group, background, “and the negative roles of bad politicians were are also raised” he stated
According to him, the ZAMAN TARE Peace Project in Nigeria is generally all about tolerance and friendliness and how Kaduna communities can be in peaceful coexistence.
In the same vein,a participant,Pastor Anthony Akochi of the Chapel of God’s Generals,Barkallawu,while describing the program as a success also said the issues discussed here are the pressing issues tearing us apart in Nigeria” so coming here to discuss them gives us a road map and a clue in what we should be doing and not doing ”
According to him,Religion shouldn’t be a tool for disuniting people,but for bringing people together,a tool for making them become good citizens thus becoming a plus to society, religion, country and humanity .He also noted the issues of superiority and inferiority complex and domineering tendencies of one religion,language or zone over others as causes of ethno-religious conflicts and the need to defuse it.”it is one of the explosives”he stressed
Imam Mustapa Sufi,while appreciating the facilitators of the and students said they have noted that politicians use religion during election to cause conflicts another is they religious leaders and traditional rulers that they are also found wanting in this regard. He called on government to look into the recommendations of they researchers and for the government to make the millennium city co-habitable for peoples of vast creed and cultures.
On her part, the women leader,CAN Mando zone,Mrs Sarah Luka, said as wonderful as the event is it has brought together people from different communities and beliefs, while praying that they will practicalize,what they have heard and learnt”the next is for government to look into the research recommendations,if that is done, I think everything will move fine and normal “she maintained.
Responding the Field Officer, Zaman Tare,Mr. Innocent Madukwu Okechukwu,noted that the 2-Day event has been wonderful” we thank God for yesterday and today;they students really did well,I also want to thank both Professor Evelyn Hauwawu Yusuf,Dr. Yakubu Haruna Jaye and the Director of advancement, Dr. Ibrahim Maharazu,the external Supervisors and other lecturers here
On what would be the faith of the academic exercise,he said ” is for us to look at their findings and see how we can also look into what we are doing accross our communities and also know if there’s any thing,we can advocate for based on their findings,because their findings were indeed very rich ” he averred