By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
In a united effort to promote peace and unity in Kaduna State, the Kaduna State Peace Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women, is actively working on implementing the “Strengthening Local and State-Level Peace Architectures for Peace building and Prevention in Kaduna and Katsina States of North West Nigeria” project, supported by the United Nations Peace building Fund (PBF).
The overarching goal of this initiative is to bolster non-violent approaches that enhance community resilience against conflict and insecurity. A significant step was taken as stakeholders from diverse backgrounds came together to discuss the implications of this project.
Barrister Rebecca Sako- John, from Kaduna State Peace Commission emphasized the vital importance of this gathering. It serves as a focal point for all those involved in the essential work of peace-building across the state’s 23 local government areas.
A wide array of stakeholders, including security personnel, journalists, paramilitary units, women’s and youth organizations, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations, have joined forces.Their collective aim is to collaborate and develop strategic initiatives that promote peace and encourage interreligious tolerance, which are fundamental aspects of the Kaduna State Peace Commission’s 5-year (2023-2027) Strategic Plan.
The primary objective of this collaborative effort is to strengthen local and state-level peace structures, thus contributing to peace building and conflict prevention. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure enduring peace prevails in the state.
Hajia Khadija Hawaja Gambo, a Permanent Commissioner with the Kaduna Peace Commission, presented a paper during this one-day stakeholder meeting. Her presentation focused on the “Proposed Priority Areas for Conflict Management and Peace Building Intervention in Kaduna State (2023-2027).” She emphasized the commission’s core mandate of proactively devising and executing strategies that promote peaceful coexistence and harmony.
Mallama Gambo also highlighted the urgent need for an updated strategic plan for the Kaduna State Peace Commission. Given new challenges such as banditry, kidnapping, and extremism, which were not previously considered, revising the existing plan has become essential. This gathering seeks to address these changes and reach a consensus on the way forward.
Reverend Dr. James Mobel Wuye, Co-Director of the Interfaith Mediation Center in Kaduna, underscored the timely nature of this meeting. It provides a platform to address emerging issues not previously covered in the plans. Dr. Wuye affirmed their commitment to making Kaduna State a haven of peace and harmony.
Mallam Ibrahima Yakubu, Team Leader of the Network of Peace Journalists in Kaduna, praised the commission for its consistent efforts in promoting peaceful coexistence among adherents of different faith-based organizations.
He recommended that the commission should acknowledge and honor individuals who have played a significant role in promoting peace and unity in the state.
This recognition, he believes, will inspire others to actively contribute to peace while mitigating conflicts. Mallam Yakubu also urged the Kaduna Peace Commission to provide quarterly media briefings on success stories that reflect the state’s transformative journey.