By Frederick Peters, KADUNA

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA- The Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) under the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace ( CIPP) has ended a two day State exchange visit by the IMC/CIPP Contingents from Plateau State, to some strategic communities and institutions in Kaduna State and met with community stakeholders among others in Kaduna State.

The learning engagement and forum which held from Monday – Tuesday visited Kawo community, Unguwar Yero and Kwaru community, Unguwar – Rimi community, CAN/JNI and the Kaduna state Peace Commission.

Speaking on the essence of the exchange visit, one of the staff of IMC on the CIPP program, Mr Samson Auta said the visit of the contingent to Kaduna is to learn of how Kaduna has been able to promote peace in localities that were in conflict in the past and how they have put up measures to ensure communities sustain the mechanism for peace in the State.

He pointed out that the visit is is to meet with religious and traditional leaders and organizations on what they have done and put in place for the peace they have so far enjoyed within their various communities and institutions as in the case of Kaduna State Peace Commission.

Speaking further, he said the knowledge gathered from the interaction during the visit would serve as a lesson that should be utilized by both Kaduna and Plateau States to ensure that the lessons are replicated to enhance peace in communities.

According to him, the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) program is using all available means that will help to support community members and government efforts on the drive for sustained Peace in the six (6) States that the CIPP program is being implemented.

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During their visit, to the Kaduna State Peace Commission, the Permanent Commissioner, Barrister Esther Sako welcomed the team to Kaduna, while commending the laudable contributions of IMC to peace in the state and country noted an existing collaboration between the two in this regard.

She said the Commission’s mandate is to develop proactive measures for peace in Kaduna State, and noting that the can only achieve that through sustained collaboration with NGOs, CSOs, stakeholders that provides platforms in promoting the participation of people in preventing conflicts in the State; hence the establishment of the Conflict Early Warning Early Response System and Peace Committees at the LGAs and communities, by the Commission among others.

While sharing their experiences, contributions and encounters in the course of the duties as Scribes of the two major religious organizations, CAN/JNI in Kaduna state over the years, the duo noted that it has been herculean and tasking even leading to risk to their lives from both within and without their faith constituencies.

According to Alh Ibrahim Kufena the Secretary of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), he said one of the major issue has been the issue of alleged conversion and counter claims from both faiths but however noted that with years of understanding between the leadership of CAN and JNI, such impasse are resolved amicably.

He also maintained the need for leaders to first be convinced on the issue of peace, truth, Justice and unbiased judgment at all times before they can preach it, for peace to reign in our respective States.

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Similarly, the CAN Secretary Kaduna State, Rev Caleb Ma’aji, reiterated the fact that there’s an existing harmonious working relationship between the two bodies in the State and corroborating issues raised by his counterpart, said because their adherents respect them there’s need to be good example to be emulated through their actions both in public and in private space,

While admonishing the faithfuls from both religions on the need for constant study of the both the Holy Books (Bible and Quran), so as not become vulnerable to adulterated preaching by some desperate preachers, so that we can have sustained peace in the State, adding that God would have made us into one religion if He so wished, hence the need to respect each other’s faith for peace in the State.

Earlier at the visit by the peace Contingents to Kwaru/Unguwar Yero community of Kaduna North LGA of Kaduna State, considering how ethno-religious, political crisis have caused serious setback to all aspect of development in the region for many years back, they also observed how Muslims and Christians were able to live in peace and harmony.

On his part, Alhaji Ashiru Mohammed Wada, the District Head of the Community, expressed delight over the visit and thanked the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) for organizing such a great event which include bringing together Community, Women leaders and youth representatives, Clerics and Clergies from the two States to learn on how communities in Kaduna were able to tackle crisis among themselves without the involvement of government.

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Ashiru noted that, they have put many strategies on ground that handle all sort of crisis in their community, adding that people in the community have learned to tolerate and accommodate each other for peace and unity to reign in the land “we have many success story to talk on how the community mitigate ethno-religious and political crisis in the area” he said.

Mr John Haruna, member of the Conflict Mitigation and Management Regional Council (CMMRC) one of the member of the contingents, said that there are many thing to learn and we have indeed learn a lot, adding that they are going to share their experience of what they have acquired here in Kaduna, so as to promote peace and unity among the people of Plateau state.


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