After Taraba, CNG secures cessation of hostilities in Southern Kaduna
Having secured a major victory in the cessation of prolonged hostilities in Taraba State, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has extended its peace efforts to Southern Kaduna, where hostilities have been on for decades, between nomads and farmer natives in the area and more recently, worsened by the alleged influx of foreign mercenaries.
It would be recalled that prior to the CNG’s intervention, Taraba State has been a hotspot in Northern Nigeria and has seen the setting up of numerous reconciliation committees, funded with hundreds of millions of naira by successive governments without success. The CNG executives, led by its Chairman – Alhaji Nastura Ashir Sheriff reportedly led a powerful delegation of the coalition’s executives to Jalingo for a meeting with the key Stakeholders, notably the Tiv and Jukun leaders and eventually enthroned a truce within 24 hours.
The Southern Kaduna peace and reconciliation parley, which held in Kagarko Local Government area of Kaduna State, witnessed a mammoth crowd of people, notably traditional rulers of both sides of the conflict, the clergy and groups like the Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders leadership. Like the one in Taraba before it, the Southern Kaduna peace parley came after years of failed peace and reconciliation committees and series of abandoned White Papers in the effort to end the protracted crisis in the area.
The CNG’s latest move is coming on the heels of what observers would consider as massive media media propaganda about genocide in the area. This was few days followed by total condemnation of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration by a group which goes by the name of Arewa Online Publishers, led by a former paramilitary officer from Southern Kaduna, Mr. Modercai Funom.
The Online Publishers’ swipe at the Federal Government’s efforts came a few days after a State Security Council Meeting declared that intelligence report had confirmed that the crisis in Southern Kaduna had nothing to do with ethnic cleansing as alleged by some civil society group’s coalition that had Niger Delta supporters on board.
The CNG, in a strongly-worded communique at the end of the meeting stated thus: “As usual, the CNG delegation expressed concern over the lingering security situation in southern Kaduna and in particular frowned at the involvement of youths who should otherwise form the most productive segment of the society.”
The group appealed to “the humanity of the parties which it said is the primary identity while every other affiliations including ethnicity and religion are secondary identities.”
The meeting has also identified the major factors responsible for the lingering security problem in southern Kaduna, namely unemployment and indiscipline,
lack of political will by leaders; manipulation of narratives and adulteration of facts;
intolerance and impatience as well as
influx of foreigners.
Significantly, the communique, signed by its Spokesman – Abdul-Azeez Suleman revealed the final resolve of the parley in three key areas, thus:
“The meeting unanimously agreed that the violent communal conflicts in the area are unnecessary, unwarranted, uncalled for and counterproductive and endorsed the following major resolutions.
1. That a committee of CNG representatives and the community leaders be mandated to articulate the observed problems for further deliberation at an expanded fora in Kaduna to involve all relevant government organs, traditional, religious and cultural institutions, elders and other stakeholders in the state.
2. That CNG would facilitate the training of youths from all the local government areas in conflict perception, resolution and management.
3. That meanwhile all the community leaders present at the meeting agreed unanimously to encourage and ensure an immediate cessation of hostilities in the entire area and keep faith with the process initiated by the CNG.