By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
ARCHBISHOP Kaduna Province and Bishop of Wusasa, Most Reverend Dr. A.B. Lamido, has said that within the Nigerian context, ethnic and religious antagonism lead to bloodshed because politicians have inflamed passions to secure their own grip on power. He, however, said that dialogue is a way of peace and needed for solving interpersonal tensions.
According to him, peace and prosperity certainly depend on increasing interaction with others and building bridges across divides. Apparently referring to the conflict in Southern Kaduna, Lamido said: “The peace meeting between the Fulani and the Atyap people chaired by AVM Ishaya Aboi Shekari and Dr. Salim Musa Umar on August 20, 2020 was a big step towards peace and reconciliation in Atyap Chiefdom.
“The meeting which had in attendance security chiefs and local government officials was a right step in the right direction. I have gone through the resolutions arrived at during the meeting. I believe if they are truly implemented, they will go a long way in resolving the conflict. The community leaders, the clerics and the youths must team up to see to the realisation of these ideals.
“People should be made aware of how the effect of crises differentiates based upon ethnicity and religion. We need a network of think-tanks and dialogues to enhance social and economic relations to promote welfare and prosperity of the people in the area. Without such mechanisms, community leaders will be tempted to abdicate their responsibilities, thereby allowing external forces to cause conflicts in the area.
“I was really impressed by that giant move to restore peace in Atyap chiefdom. It is a fact that the way in which a society decides to deal with conflicts determines the extent to which long-term stability and reconciliation may be achieved. Intervention efforts should be made to prevent the recurrence of conflicts while repairing the damage caused. To achieve peace, there is nothing better than communication and personal contacts.
“Dialogue is a way of peace and needed for solving interpersonal tensions. Peace and prosperity certainly depend on increasing interaction with others and building bridges across divides. We also need to encourage an indispensable interdependency between different groups in the area. It is a truism in our context that, where ethnic and religious antagonism lead to bloodshed is usually because politicians have inflamed passions to secure their own grip on power.
“We call on the Kaduna State Government to support this move in every way possible. This could be achieved through enlightenment campaigns, infrastructural development in the area to make the people have a sense of belonging and also bring to justice anybody that may cause mayhem in the area. This is a success story and we hope other communities will take a cue from them. It is a fact that development cannot take place if there is no peace.”