By Frederick Peters, KADUNA
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA– The Zaman Tare project of the Caritas Foundation of Nigeria has commenced her Public lecture and dissemination of findings of research works conducted by some Masters/postgraduate students of Kaduna state university under their scholarship grant.
The students were offered special scholarship grants to do research on specific areas in selected LGAs, of the state, aimed at getting practical and workable framework to enhance interreligious and intercultural tolerance in the state and country.
The presentation by the first set of five researchers on Wednesday at the university environment, attracted religious and traditional leaders, women and youths, students and representatives of the researched communities among other things.
Speaking the University Advancement Officer and coordinator of Zaman Tare, Dr Yakubu Haruna Ja’e, said the public dissemination is by the prospective scholars who were given grant to go and do a field work and report back
He said the communities were invited to hear from the students making their research presentations and ” the communities will validate that the students have actually gone to the field, and the communities will see the faces of the researchers and after that validate them and bare their minds on the thesis and about the findings in their communities ” he added
While describing the quality of the findings and presentation as ” marvelous and superb” he said that the supervisors were drawn from the Departments of geography, religious studies, English, Mass communication, political science, History and sociology
” these are the beneficiary Departments and the supervisors were really meticulous in supervising the students and asking them to do. what is expected of them by going to the field and report back” he stated
According to him, the beneficiary students were initially given 50% by the sponsors and afterwards would be paid the remaining 50% upon completion and submission of the hard copies, adding ” we are trying to bring all the findings into a particular document, if we can, we’ll publish it, but if the sponsors don’t publish, we’ll get other sponsors to come and publish the findings”
While maintaining the fact that the document will be available for policy makers as well as made available in public libraries, said” but for the findings of this nature of research, we want to bring them together and present a kind of document that you Journalists can come and extract something to publish ” he stressed
One of the Beneficiaries of the scholarship grant, a postgraduate student from the Dept of History, Mr Mathew Oma Akeje, who researched on” An assessment of interreligious conflicts in chikun LGA from 1987-2002, said his major findings were that chikun LGA is relatively peaceful compared to other parts of the state, ravaged by ethno religious conflicts
” that the traditional leaders play an important rôle in harmonizing the people irrespective of their religious or cultural backgrounds, equally, the study found out that the religious leaders worked together harmoniously between CAN and JNI to see that peace is promoted” he noted
According to him, the system of power sharing is existing in the local government ” whereby power is not restricted to the indigenes of the area but it is shared among other tribes, adding that the study further discovered that there’s inter-ethnic unity, which gave birth to the’ Kabilu forum’ a forum for all ethnic groups in moving the LGA forward.
He however lamented that his findings revealed that government has not done enough to be proactive to conflicts, but rather reactionary, ” what government normally do is when conflict is erupting in any part, they just send security to calm the situation, which is not good enough in curbing interreligious conflicts ” Adding that most findings of panels of inquiry were also not implemented.
On his Part, another beneficiary of scholarship grant and Postgraduate student of the Dept of political science, Umar Salisu Abubakar, whose research work is on the “. Role of Kaduna state peace building agency in conflict management in Kaduna metropolis; a case study of Kaduna state peace commission, said his study
” found out that the majority of respondents in Kaduna metropolis or Kaduna state are not aware of Kaduna state peace commission, also we found out that the agency promotes general security inline with the rule of law in Kaduna state, noting that grassroot initiatives is the major way towards improving their services
” we also found out that lack of adequate funding is also a major challenge for the commission, therefore, we urge government to provide more funds and also encourage and employ youths in peace building activities while creating awareness, so that people will know the importance of peace in the society” he reiterated
According to him, government should collaborate more with the Zaman Tare project ” work hand in hand in terms of peace advocacy and conflict management in Kaduna state. While commending the contribution of Zaman Tare project,, saying, ” Zaman Tare is doing well by engaging youths , community leaders on peace “he added
One of the representatives of the communities and Zaman Tare Women leader of Malali, community, Mrs Rhoda Giwa, describing the standard of presentation by researchers, said ” so far, so good, the presentation is okay, adding that, ” by the findings, this is what is happening in the communities and it shows that the students went down to the communities to get their information”
She then called on state government not to keep the final recommendations, aside ” they should look into it and implement, so that we will have sustainable peace in Kaduna state ” she maintained
ZAMAN TARE is a project of Caritas Nigeria, Funded by European Union, (EU) in partnership with CAFOD and DREP, and it is presently operating in Kaduna and Plateau states in Nigeria and Niger Republic respectively.