Peace Summit urges truce in Southern Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Peace Summit has called on the warring parties in the crisis-ridden communities to lay down their arms and respect the sanctity of life.
In a communiqué issued yesterday after the three-day summit in Kafachan, the summit observed that incessant killings, kidnapping, cattle rustling and shielding of criminals posed a major challenge in the state.
The document signed by the co-chairmen, Professors Abdullahi Ashafa and Sunday Agang, the summit stated: “There is extreme poverty in the land arising from unemployment and limited opportunities, while farming on cattle routes, open grazing and grazing using minors are also the order of the day.”
Ashafa also remarked: “The issue of settler/indigene is a major concern to the effort of building peace in Southern Kaduna. There is communication gap leading to mutual distrust and suspicion among the diverse communities.”
The summit had identified the exclusion of women and youth in all formal peace processes, increase in gender-based violence and the plight of women and children in Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps as major challenges.
It noted: “Pronouncements and conducts by some government officials and reports by the media escalate tensions within the social space.
“There were concerns over government policy regarding traditional institutions vis-à-vis their place towards harmonious coexistence for stability. Due to drug and substance abuse among youths, there is incessant illegal road blocks on highways targeted against innocent people on transit during conflicts.”
The summit, however, recommended immediate cessation of killings, attacks, kidnappings and cattle rustlings, and the creation of collaborative, economic activities for peoples of Southern Kaduna.
According to the summit, effort should be made to stop “minors from grazing alone, farming on grazing routes and deliberate destruction of farm crops.”
It commended the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai approving the summit.
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