300 leaders explore options for peace in Southern Kaduna

No fewer than 300 leaders of youth and women groups, as well as traditional rulers and clerics met on Thursday in Kachia, to dialogue on peace building in Southern Kaduna.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the interfaith peace dialogue was organized by Community of Sant’Egidio in partnership with Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna and that of Kafanchan.

The theme of the interfaith peace dailogue is, “Peace is the Future”.

NAN also report that the 300 stakeholders and leaders were drawn from Kajuru, Kachia and Jema’a local government areas of Kaduna State.

The National Coordinator, Community of Sant’Egidio, Prince Henry Ezike, said violent never solved problems, as such it was important for the people to continuosly work to build a Southern Kaduna without violence and killings.

“This is why we want to say once more, “no more violence, no more killings.”

He described as tragic, that most people in the area regard violence as a means for resolving disputes.

“Tragically for many of our people in Kaduna state, they believe that violence and killing is one possible means of resolving disputes.

“But today, we want to say that violence is the mother of poverty and has never solved any problem, rather it worsens the problems and create wounds,” Ezike added.

He appealed to government officials, religious and traditional leaders, the youth and security personnel to reject the language of division and work together to create a new architecture of peace.

“All of us need to forgive and be forgiven. The injustices of the world and of history are not healed by hatred and revenge, but by dialogue and forgiveness,” he stressed.

Also, the Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. Mathew Ndagoso, said peace must start from the grassroots.

Ndagoso who was represented by Rev. Father Daniel Kyom, said in his 18 years as Bishop from Maiduguri to Kaduna, he had realised that the grassroots remained the foundation for peace.

“Anywhere i go, i meet with traditional, religious and  political leaders at the grassroots, because i do believe that if you are looking for true peace, this is where it is, at the grassroots.”

Also, the Deputy Chief Imam, Kafanchan Central Mosque, Dr Muhammad Kassim called on religious leaders to educate their followers against negative preaching, practices and behaviour.

Kassim said dialogue, peaceful coexistence, tolerance and matual understanding should be actively embraced by all adherents of Islam and Christianity.

NAN reports that the event was also attended by security agencies.(NAN).