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Defense Chief holds peace initiative in Southern Kaduna

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By Israel Bulus, Kaduna

The Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, has renewed its commitment to supporting peace and tolerance in Southern Kaduna by holding a 5-days peace initiative across the Local Government Areas with the sole aim of mitigating and preventing religious conflicts.

The event which took place in Jema’a, Kachia, and Zango Kataf Local Governments on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, draws participants across the eight Local Government Areas.

Addressing the participants, the Chief of Defense Staff, who spoke through his Special Adviser, Mr. Musa Likita said Gen. Christopher Musa was committed to resolving the insecurity challenges in the Southern Kaduna region.

The Special Adviser gave the Fulani, Hausa, and Christian representatives the privilege to voice out their grievances to find out some of the subsequent causes of conflict within their communities.

He urged all parties to embrace peace for development to thrive in the region. He also pleaded with them to sheath their swords.

According to him, the summit aimed at identifying the remote causes of insecurity that have bedeviled the area over the years through community-based solutions.

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Some of the participants identified some of the problems, citing a lack of discipline among Parents towards their children.

According to them, Parents must be vigilant about the whereabouts and the kind of company their children keep.

” Communities must take decisive action against known criminal elements living within their domain.

” We are calling on the Government to organize community patrol on vulnerable Communities, noting that will send fear to the criminal elements terrorizing them.

The participants also pledged to collaborate with the military to chase away criminals terrorizing their communities.

” We are appealing to the Government to help deploy soldiers in vulnerable Communities to help restore confidence and hope.

The Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Peace Commission, Dr. Saleh Momale, commended the Chief of Defense Staff over the initiative, noting it helped in mitigating conflict in the State.

He explained that for the past years, the major challenges were inter-communities conflict that has a relationship with different ethnicities and religions which we generally characterize as religious conflict.

” We are happy because of the various interventions and the commitment that numerous stakeholders put in place over the years we’re witnessing an increasing decline in many parts, particularly in the Southern Part of the State, adding the Urban metropolitan centers have witnessed continuous peace and stability, ” He stated.

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” Most of the Local Governments that were witnessing ethanol religious conflicts as well as violence between farmers and herders have reverted to peaceful coexistence, stressing that even though, there were some challenges relating to management access to resources; like grazing areas, farmlands and addressing the challenges of crop damages and occasional disputes.

Analyzing the insecurity challenges, he maintained that violence is now very minimal but occurs in only a few communities.

He commended the religious leaders for working hard to create the right mindset to be able to work together to approach some of the challenges.

PUNCH reports that some of the Key highlights from the summit include; discussions and sharing of true live experiences toward strengthening peacebuilding efforts and innovative approaches for addressing the insecurity challenges.

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