From faraway Brazaville, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, Mrs. Deborah Iliya, is heart-broken at the bloodshed in her home state of Kaduna, where scores have died in the last few weeks.
In a statement titled, A call for peace in Kaduna State, Mrs. Iliya is seeking a radical approach to peace
The statement reads in full: “I join the Government and good people of Kaduna State (my state) as it extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and good people of Adara Chiefdom over the abduction and killing of the paramount traditional ruler, Dr. Maiwada Galadima, the communal violence that occurred in Kasuwan Magani as well as other parts of the state which claimed the lives of many dear residents.
“We have had more than enough destruction on lives, properties and hate amongst each other in different dimensions – ethnical, religious and political. The abduction of the paramount traditional ruler of Adara Chiefs, Dr. Maiwada Galadima, has no religious or ideological justification.
“The hasty and frequent recourse to bloodshed over disputes that could have been appeased peacefully without the loss of lives and property has become a common trend and is disheartening at the very least – my heart bleeds.
“In this day and age and at the level of dialogue that is possible between the differing communities – killings and attacks on innocent people, destruction of homes, markets and places of worship is totally unacceptable Enough of this madness.
“At the front burner of the agenda of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR)- is the provision of adequate security to the citizenry.
“This, Mr. President has since demonstrated by equipping the various security institutions of our security agencies, so that they would always act more efficiently. His concerns speak in the event of the spirited and swift response of the State Governor, Nasir el Rufai, and the armed forces, the police for ensuring that peace, law and order were restored to the state.
“Also, the summon for an emergency meeting of the Heads of the Security Agencies in Kaduna State and the state Council of Chiefs to discuss ways forward on the issues at hand, is commendable.
“I do salute the effort of our security agencies at the same time appeal for more of their presence in the service to assisting communities in the very difficult task that they may have.
“It is highly applauded of His Excellency, Mr President for visiting the state immediately to see things for himself.
“Under all religions, there can never be any ideological justification for crimes against groups of innocent human beings, and it is one of the cardinal duties of all Muslims and Christians to condemn such outrages wherever and by whomever they are committed.
“If your religion requires you to hate someone, you need a new religion.” Hatred paralyses, confuses and darkens life. We must choose to stick with love because “hate” is too much of a burden to bear.
“As a woman, who believes that life is always sacrosanct and who seeks peace at all times, I plead to those on social media platforms to stop the hate and fake speech communications that misguide, promote violence, put suspicion and fear among the people of Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State and the country in general.
“It is our collective responsibility to synergise with good leaders in the effort to fixing our dream Nigeria.
“As a representative of the people, I call upon our youths to shun violence. Do not offer to waste your lives to violence -rather, activate your entrepreneurial spirit, actively participate in the political process of Kaduna State and Nigeria – using democratic and nonviolent means and your future is assured.
“Know however, that no amount of money on earth is worth your life – so do not waste it to violence.
“The Executive Governor’s comments when he traced the genesis of ethno-religious crises in Kaduna State, which occurred first in 1980 at Kasuwan Magani and stated that – “it is time for a powerful coalition for peace to speak frankly and support actions against those who menace the right of our citizens to live in peace wherever they choose”. These are words that any peace-loving person will subscribe to.
“It is therefore clear that the past is a central dimension of reconciliation in Kaduna.
“But reconciliation is essentially about the future: moving from a divided past towards a shared future for all citizens in Kaduna State irrespective of their religious, gender, tribaland cultural affiliations.
“And so it means at its core, building relations for the future. It appears obvious that Kaduna State is at a crossroad facing two possible futures: indefinite violent conflict, or gradual progress towards sustainable peace.
“As such, a radical new approach is needed in Kaduna State to build peace step-by-step. We cannot wait for the next generation to make this change; this present generation must attempt a renewal of basic human values. If there is any hope, it is in the future generations, but not unless we institute major change on a state-wide scale in our present educational system.
“Whilst we acknowledge that we cannot create peace on paper, there’s a need to move beyond peace rhetoric, through a progressive, step-by-step process towards a political settlement which builds stability, confidence and legitimacy over time.
“The short-term objective should be a reduction in violence while the long-term objective should be to achieve a more inclusive peace process that is representative of, and endorsed by, Kaduna State and the country in general.
“So let us turn, each of us to the wisdom in our religions and traditions and in our communities, bringing together everything we know and everything our religious leaders and fore-parents have ever known about mediation, problem solving and peace-making. It is in this sense that I believe all religions have essentially the same teaching that is of peace.
“Within this context, there are ways to live and respond, in which no one is the loser.
“As we move toward restraint, let us all enter into long, deep, contemplative consideration of the current dilemmas that confront us. It is certain that we all want the same thing: that Southern Kaduna, Kaduna and Nigeria enjoy peace – that our children will live, that the lives of our loved ones will not end inKillings and Genocide.
“It is therefore imperative we give true leaders a chance to lead us, move our Nation forward to actualising the labour of our heroes past. Let’s sing “Forward ever, backward never.”
“God Bless Kaduna State and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”