Peace may just be in sight in Southern Kaduna following the release of a long list of comprehensive highlights from Saturday’s Southern Kaduna Peace Gathering in Kafanchan, Kaduna Stae.
The theme: of the meeting was “Peaceful Co-existence, Conflict Prevention and Building Strictures for Sustainable Peace in Southern Kaduna.”
The gathering had in attendance the STF Operation Safe Haven Commander, Maj Gen R.I. Nicholas, The Revd Gideon Para-Mallam (Convener) and the Deputy Imam of Kafanchan, Alhaji Kabir Kassim as co -Convener.
Also in attendance were traditional rulers, Fulanis, clergymen, Muslims, Christians, leaders of ethnic nationalities, the police, military, retired army generals, police commissioners and many other stakeholders and friends of Southern Kaduna. The Aso Villa Chaplain was represented by the Chapel Villa Administrator, Rev. Ambi.
Some issues arrived at include the following:
1. Nobody in Southern Kaduna would henceforth be allowed to take the law into his or her hands.
2. The STF OPSH on Southern kaduna has fully taken over the security of four LGs: Sanga, Jema’a, Zangon Kataf and Kaura.
3. No night grazing by herdsmen. Any herdsman grazing after 7pm will be shot.
4. If Fulani grazers enter any farmlands, the owners should immediately call the STF. Any Fulani that allowed his cow to graze on a farm will be made to pay any amount the farmer indicates as cost of damage and if the farmer is attacked after being paid by the Fulani, the STF will catch the Fulani until he produces the attackers.
5. Any farmer that attacks any herdsman for allowing his cow to graze on the farm would be interpreted as the farmer taking the law into his hands. That farmer would be dealt with. The right thing is to report to the security agencies.
6. Any community that is stopped or scared away from accessing its farmland by any group, the STF should be notified immediately for prompt action.
7. The STF has the power to arrest and detain all suspects until investigation is completed. That suspects will then be handed over to the police for prosecution.
8. Any army checkpoint where the personnel asks for bribe, the Commander STF should be informed of the particular checkpoint and action will be taken.
9. On approach of an STF checkpoint, stop for checking, those on bikes should stop and roll their bikes until they pass the checkpoint.
10. All communities should have a local community policing framework in place to identify all strangers and report accordingly.
11. The STF will soon embark on search for weapons. Anyone with weapon in his or her house; or elsewhere, blow the whistle.
12. All Ardos should be able to know any foreign/strange Fulani in their midst.
13. Children shouldn’t be allowed to engage in cattle grazing alone without an elder.
14. All Cattle routes should be left free for grazing purposes.
15. There should be no reprisal or counter reprisal attacks, again, as the STF will not allow criminals to harass innocent citizens.
16. All military men that were initially in Southern Kaduna will be transferred out. The STF Commander disclosed that he is coming with those he worked with in JOS, especially those who helped in restoring peace.
17. All clergymen (Christians and Muslims) were advised to talk to their followers on the need for promoting peaceful co-existence in Southern Kaduna.
18. The STF Commander is to helped in his duties by an Assistant Commissioner of Police ,- Emmanuel Ado.
19. He has sworn that he would not tolerate any nonsense from any group or individuals regarding the issue of restoring and maintaining the peace in the area.
20. Besides, the issue of Luka Binniyat the former journalist with Vanguard newspaper, featured very prominently in the Convener’s opening remarks and from the submissions of some clergymen during the meeting. There was a strong appeal that the bail conditions be operated in such a way as to allow him regain his freedom rather than punitive. A strong appeal called for his release on bail rather than keeping him in prison with such harsh bail conditions.
21. The issue of our closed tertiary schools in Southern Kaduna also featured in the discussions. All insisted that there was no justification for the continued closure since other schools are in session there.
22. Failure of leadership was partly identified for the continuation of the crisis in Southern Kaduna.
23. Greed and manipulation by politicians was also identified as a reason for the continued crisis as well as rumour mongering.
24. A broad based development agenda is required for Southern kaduna now.
25. It was emphatically stated that there can be no peace without justice and we all need to work for sustainable peace within the context of justice.
26. Both Christians and Muslims agreed to a call and willingness to support the STF Commander to enable him succeed.
27. There was a 9 – point summary which will be released later and that this meeting isn’t a one off event but a process towards building structures for sustainable peace. Future meetings will be communicated at a later date.