The Kaduna State Government has constituted a joint committee to look into the immediate and remote causes of the recurrent violent conflicts among communities in Jema’a, Kaura and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas of the state.
This followed the Sunday night suspected terrorists attack on Agban Kagoro in Kaura Local Government Area of the state which claimed no fewer than 37 lives, including two soldiers while seven people were injured and over 200 houses razed as well as vehicles and motorcycles destroyed.
The incident which the state government claimed affected four locations in Tsonje, Agban, Katanga and Kadarko, all within the Kagoro chiefdom, forced the state to slam a 24-hour-curfew on Jema’a and Kaura LGAs for fear of escalation. The curfew was, however, relaxed on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, who constituted the committee, gave it one week to submit its report.
The committee headed by the Administrator of Kafanchan Municipal Authority, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, had the chairmen of Jema’a, Kaura and Zangon Kataf as members.
Other members of the committee are representatives of Jama’a tul Nasir Islam and the Christian Association of Nigeria as well as the affected communities.
The inauguration of the committee which was done on Thursday followed a peace dialogue with stakeholders from Jema’a, Kaura and Zangon Kataf local government areas towards finding a solution to the incessant violent conflicts in the areas.
The dialogue, which was held at Kafanchan, was attended by elected government officials, traditional rulers, community leaders from affected communities, leaders of the two religious bodies, CAN and JNI as well as heads of security agencies, comprising the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
While constituting the committee, the deputy governor mandated the members to look into the causes of the conflicts, recommend measures to be taken by both government and various ethnic groups, leading to peaceful and harmonious coexistence among them.
Balarabe also directed the three local government chairmen to resume the weekly meeting of the local government security committees as instituted by the state government, which will serve as a forum to discuss security issues and pro-actively tackle those problems before they escalate.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan had stated that the position of the state government is that both farmers and herders should always recourse to the law.
Don’t reject dialogue
Meanwhile, CAN has cautioned its members against withdrawing from any form of dialogue geared towards bringing a solution to the intractable killings in Southern Kaduna.
The association noted that it was particularly disturbed that owing to the ceaseless killings in the state and the country at large, some groups are asking faith leaders to “withdraw from any peace dialogue.”
According to the CAN, the contention is that some parties in peace dialogues do not come to the table with genuineness or as equal partners.
However, the Chairman of the CAN in Kaduna state, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said they were not against those with such opinion, noting though that the association strongly believe that “there is no substitute to dialogue.
CULLED FROM PUNCH