Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has attributed the growing momentum for peace in southern Kaduna to the peace-building initiatives of groups like the Southern Kaduna Peace Summit.
The governor also commended Reverend Yakubu Pam, the Agwatyap HRH Dominic Gambo Yahaya and community leaders from the area for complementing security efforts with an ongoing peace process.
The governor, who made this known when members of the Southern Kaduna Peace Summit submitted their report on Wednesday, thanked them for investing their time and resources towards peacebuilding.
el-Rufai welcomed the progress being made in restoring peace to the area, saying that the fact that violent crises had lingered in the area for decades makes it urgent to put conflict entrepreneurs out of work and instead widen the constituency for peace.
While thanking members of the peace summit for investing their time and resources to find lasting peace in the area, Mallam el-Rufai quoted the Bible verse that said “blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God. By the Grace of God, all of you will be called the children of God when we face Him on the day of judgement’’.
The governor expressed gratitude to the members “for not just identifying gaps in government and community efforts but for making recommendations so that we can remedy them.’’ He explained that crises in southern Kaduna have led to loss of lives and property but also discouraged investments in the area. ‘’
el-Rufai expressed gratitude to Reverend Yakubu Pam for finding time within his schedule as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) to support the quest for lasting peace in southern Kaduna. He commended other members of the peace summit process for devoting their time and energy to the peace effort.
The governor disclosed that the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, who is from Bauchi state, considered this problem sufficiently important to lend his intellectual and material resources towards peace building.
The governor promised that his administration is going to study the report and act on it.
Speaking earlier, Rev Pam said that the summit witnessed a large turnout of participants as over 200 people attended, exceeding the targeted 150 people. He added that this shows that the people desire peace in the area.
Rev Pam said that the summit, which had the theme, “De-escalating the crises in Southern Kaduna,’’ held from September 18 to 20, adding that one of its recommendations is for both federal and state governments presence to be felt at the grassroots.
The Executive Secretary of NCPC also said that the summit advised all leaders at the state and federal levels to stop the blame game but should rather approach issues dispassionately.
The summit chairman further said that the government should support the implementation committee which was set up to follow up on the recommendations of the summit.
Rev Pam reiterated that peace should be everybody’s business and we should all collaborate to nurture it.