//Richard Pius Garba, Media and Communication Officer, GPFN- Kaduna//
A non-governmental organisation Global Peace Foundation Nigeria (GPFN) has met with indigenous Fulani Ardos, Youth and members of the Academia of Fulani extraction in trouble laddened southern part of Kaduna state, aiming at restoring peace in the area.
When the Foundation visited, the indigenous Fulani herders in the area said, they are ever ready for peaceful reconciliation as no community or people can make any progress without unity of purpose which can only be acheived where there is peace.
The meeting which took place at Adara Hall in achia on Tuesday 17-01-2017, has the theme “Active involvement of Fulanis in Southern Kaduna peace-building process” drew over Eighty (80) participants of Fulani extraction across the eight Local Government Areas of Southern Kaduna to discuss how to mitigate the crisis and restore peace and confidence in the area.
Speaking at the program, the Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, John Oko, noted that the Foundation organised the consultative meeting in line with its vision of “One Family Under God” Campaign with a view to facilitating and enhance the process of mediation for amicable resolution of the problem bedevilling the area.
While pointing out that GPFN started the mediation process with the Fulani community and will reach out to other indigenous tribes soon, the Country Director urged participants to feel free and voice out their concerns and also suggest ways they consider feasible in resolving the conflict.
Also speaking separately, the Northern Co-coordinators of GPFN, Rev. John Joseph Hayab and Sheikh Halliru Abdullahi Maraya reminded the participants of the need to always recognise dialogue as the most effective tool in resolving disputes which also forms the basis of the gathering.
They appealed to the participants to take the message of forgiveness and tolerance in all they do so as to create the enabling environment for all to live peacefully and also restore the peace the area was known for.
In a goodwill message to the gathering, the Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Kaduna State who is also the Interim Chairman of Jaba Local Government Area, Mr. Ben Kure commended the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria for championing the process of mediation to restore peace between the Fulanis and the Indigenous tribes of Southern Kaduna.
He emphasised that the Government is working tirelessly to restore peace and stability in the area and appealed to the people to partner Government and eschew bitterness in resolving the problem.
In his contribution, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Kaduna State, Haruna Usman Tuga said southern Kaduna Fulani are committed to the peace process and called on people to avoid false accusation and rumour mongering that can easily ignite hatred; any form of reprisal attacks should stop which he noted, leads to killing of innocent lives and loss of properties.
The Secretary Mogbal Fulbe Development Association, Kaduna State Dr. Ahmad Mairiga Yandeh in his contribution applauded the process and advised other well-meaning organizations to key into the process by organising similar forum for the indigenous tribes of the area, Politicians at the Federal, State and Local Governments, Clergies, Traditional Rulers, Contact groups (Miyetti Allah, SOKAPU) and elites for better result.
Also contributing, a Fulani community Leader, Abdulmalik Durunguwa called on the people to stop given religious colouration to every crisis instead they should deal with the issues in the community it emanates rather than reprisals.
The Youth Leader of Laduga Community, Ja’afar Salihu said Fulani youth in Southern Kaduna have resolved to work as a team to stop the perpetrators of the attacks and advised those present at the gathering to continue to sensitise their people on the importance of tolerance and peace for a better society.