by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A Kaduna-based non-governmental organisation, ‘Care and Action Research,’ CaRE, has organised a one-day workshop to sensitise traditional and religious leaders on the need to promote peaceful co-existence in Sabon Tasha community.
The NGO’s executive director, Mrs Joy Dogo, said at the opening of the workshop this Wednesday in Kaduna that, promoting a peaceful society is the responsibility of everyone.
Dogo noted that Sabon Tasha was one of the flashpoints in Kaduna Town where clashes occur at the slightest provocation.
The workshop, tagged ‘Promotion of Peaceful Co-existence and Prevention of Violence in Sabon Tasha,’ was organised with support from Peace Direct, Abuja.
She noted that many people had relocated from the community to safe areas because of crisis, a development she described as “very unfortunate.”
According to her, the persistent crisis in Sabon Tasha is entrenching a social segregation, based on religious and ethnic considerations.
“The workshop was, therefore, organised to find a lasting solution to the problem and to particularly make the area peaceful and conducive for everyone to live in.
“This is why we have participants from relevant stakeholders, including religious and community leaders, women and youth groups, representatives of commercial motorcycle and tricycle and civil society organisations.
“They are expected to go back to their various groups and share lessons learnt and some of the decisions taken to promote peaceful coexistence among the different people that live in the area,” she said.
Also speaking, the NGO’s Project Officer, Ms Salama Bala, said that the peace project would help address avoidable crises in the state, noting that the initiative, which started in Sabon Tasha, would be extended to other parts of the state.
She added that the NGO, in collaboration with Peace Direct, would organise a cultural funfair in August as part of the peace-building process.
In his address, Dr Hamisu Ya’u, who is Executive Secretary of Sultan Bello Mosque Management Board, noted that religious and traditional leaders were always held responsible whenever there was a conflict in communities.
Ya’u, therefore, urged the leaders to always be truthful in handling conflicts to prevent it from escalating and put the people first.
On his part, Chief Imam of Tippa Garage, Sabon Tasha, Malam Alhassan Umar, thanked the NGO for the workshop, considering the volatile nature of conflicts in the state.
Umar said that the engagement would help in finding ways to promote harmonious relationships between religious divides.
Similarly, Pastor Sunday Shok, of ECWA Goodnews Church, Kagoro Road, Sabon Tasha, said that as religious leaders, the workshop would equip them with effective ways to prevent conflicts.