By Frederick Peters, KADUNA

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA – The Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) Kaduna has been commended for its laudable conflict prevention intervention in Kasuwar Magani of Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state.

The commendations were made by Speakers, Participants and Stakeholders of the community at the two-day Conflict Prevention Forum on Monday -Tuesday, organized by the Centre to nip in the bud early warning indicators and threats to peace in the area.

Speaking IMC’s Coordinator on Community Peace Action Network (CPAN), Samson Auta hinted that the 2 Day program was based on the conflict sensitivity of some of the early warning indicators received from their Community Peace Observers (CPOs), and other structures in the area, which in the past, has resulted in the loss of lives and property in millions of naira destroyed in Kasuwar Magani and its environs of Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State.

“Having received the information, we were able to discuss and analyze the situation in our early warnings hub, felt it’s timely to come over to intervene; which activity name is called the’ Conflict Prevention Forum’ adding that ” what we expect to have here is the commitment of community members who most especially are youths and women, because they are the most at times actively involved as actors in most of the conflicts.

“While the women in the other hand are at the receiving end when it comes to violent conflicts in communities and where we have a lot of them as widows and their children made orphans based on the killings of their breadwinners” he added

According to him, what is also expected at the end of the Conflict Prevention Forum” is to establish a committee that from to time will be meeting to report early indicators of conflicts that might escalate and bring uncertainty in the community, adding ” one other outcome is to have a Conflict Prevention Forum established in Kasuwar Magani so that peace can be sustained within the locality” he stressed

While responding to some critical issues raised by participants in the course of the interaction, said ” issues were raised which basically, is on interreligious marriages, which is one of the issues that had led to previous crisis within the locality, thank God we are able to bring religious leaders from both faiths who shared their perspectives based on teachings of their religions as most of the speakers emphasized by calling on the youth to always do the needful” by following the right process” by getting the parents’ approval.

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Similarly, the District Head of Kufana, represented by the Galadiman Kufena, Chief John Brigagau, while commending the organizers, said his principal supports the program, describing it as ” fruitful, because what was discussed is a way forward that will sustain and bring peace in the district adding that, the participation of the youths is a welcome development to restore peace in the district.

He further called on youths to call their colleagues to order especially, those found breaking the law, he stated that instead of running away from the youth, we should bring them back and caution the them by advising them on the best way to live their lives, adding that ” if need be they should have a way of providing some skills training for the youths in order to make them have their livelihood” he stated.

The Program Officer, Community Engagement and Outreach, Kaduna State Peace Commission, (KAPECOM) Mr Barau Emmanuel, said the 2- day forum,” has been a very good reflection of the collaborative efforts of the Kaduna Peace Commission to work with other stakeholders in ensuring that the culture of peace is entrenched in our communities, which are the sub- units of the larger society.

“and from the interaction, comments and experiences being shared here by other stakeholders, I can say, we are making a huge progress and we hope that this can further be engendered at the family level as well at different sub-sets of the society, so that, we can have enduring peace in Kaduna State” He also urged all to emphasize more on our common humanity, that binds us together, rather than our differences.

On her part, the field officer, African Radio, Drama Associates, (ARDA) Maryam Suleiman said ” the essence of the event is the coming together to promote peace between stakeholders, community members, youths and women, and the outcome is good, because the people are saying they really learned a lot” Adding that as a partner ” we promote peace through Radio Drama, we work with Mercy Corps, IMC, Savanna Centre for Diplomacy and Democracy (SCDDC) and Pastoral Resolve (PARE), .

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While emphasizing the importance of the ‘likes and dislikes’ session, where Christians and Muslims tell what they like and dislike from each other saying ” at the end of it, they found out that they are almost have same issues in similarity, except for some few differences and at the end they all agreed to live in peace because Nigeria is for all of us as God created Muslims and Christians in the country, we are supposed to work together to achieve peace at the end” she reiterated.

The CAN Secretary, Kaduna state, Rev Caleb, represented by the state Youth Chairman, Pastor Cornelius Kantiok, said the essence of the forum is to prevent conflicts and his message at the interaction of Muslim and Christian youths is, ” let’s be honest, let’s be sincere with one another, so that, it will not be just a verbal expression; when we say it, but our mind is not together: but with sincerity of purpose and togetherness, we can team up and things can be better in Kasuwar Magani

“and hope that as we work together, everybody will be able to practice his religion and go about his business and life will be better for us in Kasuwar Magani, Kaduna and Nigeria in general” He also commended the understanding, openness of the participants” people said things, the never said and I think with more understanding, if we continue like this, things will be better; it’s promising ” he averred

In the same vein, the Scribe, JNI, Kajuru Local government area, Imam Shafiu Hassan, said first of all, I will like to applaud the efforts of IMC for the job well-done because they have been intervening for quite a long period in Kajuru local government area in terms of peace and now they are here also for this two days event to intervene and to see how we can become strong in Kusuwar Magani of Kajuru local government area and the State at large ” he said.

According to him, “we are expecting that at the end of the two days meeting to have a strong cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims, adding” I will like to call on all our people both adults and youths to embrace peace, because we are one and without peace there’s no development,” He however warned on some bad eggs that have always created room to escalate and fuel the embers of violence in Kasuwar Magani, Kajuru LGA, with a call on the elders and youths to join hands to maintain peace ” he reiterated.

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In the same vein, the CAN Chairman, Kajuru Local government area represented by his assistant, Rev. Daura Silvanus, said the event is encouraging and impressive and it is something that should be a frequent meeting, adding that “it will enhance peace and development in Kajuru LGA, it will bring Christians and Muslims together at the point of unity noting that, where there’s unity there’s understanding: there’s no discrimination, with assurances of stepping down the outcome in their various structures in the local government area.

On his part, the EWER Chairman, Kasuwar Magani, Alhaji Shoho Garba said the program is commendable and timely, because early warnings come before conflicts erupt and this one came 2-3 weeks ago and the security agencies and other stakeholders met and responded and now again the IMC is here to enhance her voice in response to the early warnings to ensure peaceful coexistence in Kasuwar Magani of Kajuru LGA,” we assured them to step-down the message of peace they have brought” he stated.

On her part, the Scribe Equal Success NGO, Patience Bulus Bahago, said” I have benefitted a lot from the training that there’s success in peace than any other thing and that before religion, i was made to understand that, i am human before religion, and on the ‘likes and dislikes’ the way forward is avoiding things the other religion dislike for peace to reign.” She added.

Lending his voice, a Peace Ambassador, Abdullazi Ibrahim, while expressing satisfaction with the program, said ” we have seen positive changes on the challenges of conflicts and crisis that we are faced with here by this activity, adding that those forerunners of conflicts have started understanding that peace is better than crisis, while hoping that all that was learnt be sustained ” as we go home into action and interaction for the betterment of our communities, LGA, state and country ” he added.

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