No fewer than eight districts in Jema’a Local Government, Kaduna State, on Thursday signed peace deals to end hostilities and ensure permanent peace in their locality. The agreement followed months of interaction and negotiation spearheaded by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria, an NGO. The districts include Dangoma, Goska, Ambam, Bakin Kogi, Unguwar Fari, Unguwar Baki and Gerti.
After deliberations, the eight districts unanimously agreed to forgive each other and directed all farmers and herdsmen to go about their normal activities.
“They also agreed to form very close collaborations to attain pre-conflict relationship while encouraging all their critical stakeholders resident outside the chiefdom to honour the development.”
The Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, Mr John Oko said the organisation was happy with the outcome.
“GPF is happy with this outcome. We shall continue to monitor the progress and work with the communities to ensure sustainable peace returns.
“We believe that both parties are tired of the hostilities,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports that some of the eight districts had made sad headlines since December 2016 after series of violence in their communities in the infamous Southern Kaduna killings.
Earlier, Oko recalled that crises in the area had led to so many deaths and displacement with attendant miseries on survivors.
He noted that the crisis between Fulanis and Kaninkon natives began as a result of dispute over land blocked by farmers, claimed to be Fulanis’ major cattle stock route.
The country director said that the crisis later took ethno-religious dimension, such that with time even “farmers could no longer access their farms for farming.
“On the other hand, Fulani herdsmen were also denied freedom of movement within the natives’ domain as they might also be killed in the name of vengeance.”
He said GPF initiated the peace deal which spanned several months and meetings with key stakeholders within and outside the area.
“We also met separately with key stakeholders such as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI).
“District Heads of Fulani Communities, the Paramount ruler and the eight District Heads of Kaninkon chiefdom, Youths of both Fulani and Natives of the chiefdom, as well as women.
“The peace processes brought about many other dialogue meetings within the chiefdom and resulted in both parties agreeing to sheath their swords and come to this reconciliation meeting at Unguwar Fari, the Kaninkon Chiefdom Headquarters today.” Oko said.
Rev. Joseph Hayab and Sheikh Haliru Maraya, Northern Coordinators of GPF Nigeria, spoke on the binding values between Christianity and Islam, stressing that forgiveness, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence were key to human survival.
The two officials advised the communities to be open and frank so as to reach a position of common agreement.