The Kaduna State Government, on Thursday, pledged to ensure lasting peace in all areas affected by recurring conflicts in the state.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner Internal Security and Home Affairs, made the pledge in Kaduna at a training programme on peaceful coexistence and reconciliation, organised by Mercy Corps in partnership with the State Peace Commission.
The training brought together key stakeholders in troubled Kajuru Local Government Area, to empower them on peace building and reconciliation mechanisms for sustainable peace in the area.
Aruwan stated that the situation in Kajuru was unfortunate, and assured that the government would not relent in its efforts toward ensuring peace, security and development in the area.
He said that the training was apt, as it brought together all the different communities in the area to appreciate the need for peaceful coexistence and to reconcile their differences amicably.
Aruwas said that the government would continue to support such initiatives aimed at ending conflicts and laying grounds for development.
The commissioner noted that negotiation was important in building understanding based on the recognition of the people’s diversity.
He emphasised that the government would develop lasting policies, listen and interact with the people in order to bridge areas of conflict and facilitate development for the good of all.
He therefore, appealed to the stakeholders to work together in restoring peace in the area.
Also, Mr Sani Suleiman, Deputy Chief Party, Mercy Corps, said that the organisation was pushing for community action to end the cycle of violence in North Central and North West Nigeria
He said they are creating space for government and citizens engagement to end the conflicts.
“This kind of engagement is where people share information and their concerns are addressed and are encouraged in terms of collaboration and working together for the better, towards achieving sustainable peace
“This is in addition to the capacity building given to the communities’ stakeholders around interest base negotiations and mediation.
“You cannot achieve sustainable peace within Kajuru without creating space for negotiations, dialogue for mediation that address the interest of the parties involved, and what they want and how they can collaborate and work together towards addressing the issues,” he said.
He said that the participants were expected to develop their road map, adding that the organisation would support them to create sub committee for youth and women for different levels of engagement.
“Beyond meeting in Kaduna, we are also taking it back to the communities for further engagement at the community level for them to have space and map their relationship and engage themselves.
“This is about putting the mechanism that is required back to the community and this intervention will go on in the next three years where we will be able to establish something that the community will take ownership and continue to sustain themselves,” Suleiman said.
On his part, Mr Patrick Maigari, the Chairman, Kajuru Truth and Reconciliation Committee, said the committee has 53 members representing various groups with the aim of consulting, liasing and bringing about lasting peace in the area.
According to him, the committee is also reaching out to aggrieve persons and calling for calm while talking also with religious leaders.
He explained that the training would equip them to carry out their responsibilities more effectively.
Maigari said the committee has achieved various successes and identified challenges toward rebuilding confidence within the community.
“One of the success is what we are doing now as groups, agreeing to sit together to discuss the conflicts, I feel it is a great achievement,” he said.
According to him, they are reaching out to get comprehensive data of victims in order to assist them.
Priscilla Ankut, the Executive Vice Chairperson Kaduna peace commission, said the interest based negotiations training was to build the capacity of stakeholders in managing conflicts for sustainable peace and stability.
She explained that getting additional skills and capacity by the stakeholders would make them more educated and competent to work through their own peculiar situations.
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