Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 6 August 2015 | 4,456 times
Former Chief of Defence Staff and Chairman Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee, General Martin Luther Agwai on Wednesday declared that the 2011 post-election violence in the state triggered the killings in southern part of the state.
Agwai, while presenting his committee report to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said religious intolerance also contributed to killings in the state, urging the government to discourage religious extremist, fanaticism in the state.
According to him, there have been crisis in the state since 70s but that of 2011 was brutal as its claimed many lives.
He said: “2011 post-election violence is still causing large scale problems in southern part of the state”
He urged the government to bring back understanding among different tribes and people living in the area.
The state governor had in June set up the peace and reconciliation committee known as (Agwai Committee) aimed at ending killings in Southern Kaduna.
Agwai said the committee members have observed that the people of the state irrespective of tribes, religion love to live in peace with one another.
He therefore, identified land conflict, religion, tribal differences, indigene bigotry, unemployment as some of the major causes of crisis in the state, particularly in southern part of the state.
According to him, “The people are willing to cooperate with government on its plan to return peace in the state.
“We also observed that the government needs the media to inform the public about its activities because lack of effective media in the area has connection with the crisis. So there is the urgent need for establishment of television, radio and mobile lines in the area.”
He also blamed politicians and other unpatriotic individuals for exploiting the unemployed youths to cause crisis in the state.
The chairman added that indigene, settlers dichotomy brought about long rivalry among citizens of the state hence the need to stop it.
As part of their recommendation, he urged the governor to set up Peace and Reconciliation project to restore peace and understanding in the state.
“It’s only through reconciliation that we will have peace and a window must be opened to achieve that. We also recommended that there must be good governance and justice if we want people to stop taking laws into their hands.”
In his response, El-Rufai promised to implement the recommendations captured in the reports and that of 2012 previous peace and reconciliation reports submitted to previous government in the state.
He urged people of the state to respect each other, saying every Nigerian living in the state has equal right with indigenes of the state.
“We will make sure our state assembly passed the bill to set up Peace and Reconciliation Commission in the state.”
•Photo shows Agwai
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