The National Peace Committee chaired by former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar, has appealed to all aggrieved parties affected in the violent attacks in Southern Kaduna, North West Nigeria, to sheathe their swords and tolerate each other for the interest of peace in the state.
General Abubakar made the appeal when he led other members of the committee to a meeting with Governor Nasir El-Rufai at the Government House, in Kaduna.
While expressing concern about the killing of innocent people in Southern Kaduna by suspected herdsmen, the Committee warned religious, political and traditional rulers against making inflammatory statements that would worsen the situation.
The committee met behind closed doors for over three hours with Governor El-Rufai and his deputy, Bala Bantex, inside the governor’s office.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the National Peace Committee and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, noted that only a genuine reconciliation between the natives and Fulani’ would bring the crisis to an end.
Aggrieved parties were asked to forgive one another and put the past behind them.
General Abubakar also commended the Kaduna State government and security agencies for their effort in restoring normalcy in the affected communities and advised the people to refrain from taking laws into their hands.
“We are here due to the recent happenings in Southern Kaduna. And from here, we are going to meet with other stakeholders, religious leaders, the chieftaincy title holders in the area and also visit the site where these problems are, to discuss with the people.
“After which we will now sit down and see what we think should be done. Then we come back to the governor and if necessary to the Federal Government.
“Considering that these clashes and killings are not only limited in Kaduna State, it is something that is engulfing the country.
“We want to make sure that peace reigns in Nigeria, to make sure that people know that we are together. We have to live in peace with each other.
“We are reaching a situation in the country where human live does not mean anything to people and this is wrong.
“There is no religion on earth or anywhere that preaches violence. So this is why we are here today.
“We thank the governor and his team for receiving us. One of the points that the governor drew our attention to is the way people take laws into their hands and they go free. This impunity must be checked.
“Everybody is aggrieved in one way or the other, We must live together, we must find a solution to the problem,” he stated.
Foster Peace And Unity
A member of the committee and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, told reporters that religious leaders had a key role to play in bringing about peace in Southern Kaduna.
He specifically warned them from fanning embers of disunity among their people, but instead to use their position to foster peace and unity in their domains.
“Peace is a gift of God because it is one of the greatest blessings, without peace not much can happen.
“When we look at Southern Kaduna, children are not going to school, farming is not going on, we need to do something to restore peace and forgiveness is very important.
The National Peace committee was established in 2015, and witnessed the signing of the peace accord between President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ahead of the March 28 presidential election.