From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Newly appointed Kaduna Peace Commission Chairman Archbishop Josiah Idowu Fearon yesterday vowed to ensure that the commission work tirelessly to return peace among residents and visitors in the state.
According to him, they will also ensure that the state is safe and secure to all the people living in the state irrespective of religion and tribal affiliation.
The cleric who spoke during their swearing-in of member of the commission at the State government house, said they would approach the duty faithfully, honestly and objectively.
“We are conscious of the fact that there are those who are better qualified and more suitable for this duty before you chose us. We pledged to be faithful, honest and objective in doing the work and we would do our best in making Kaduna safe, secure, friendly and peaceful.
“We are totally committed to the political, cultural and ethnic differences and we will help the teeming ever-growing population of Kaduna state to learn to live with their differences.
“We promise to work to reduce violence and advocate progress and development. In cooperation with our higher institutions of learning, we will work to ensure that differences are understood and celebrated, “ he added.
Earlier, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, said inauguration of the peace commission will help the state reject the legacy of violence that has bedeviled it for over 40 years and come together to find lasting peace, progress and development.
“As strife tore apart the harmony that had made our state such a magnet for every Nigerian, the commissions of inquiry and committees established to study each instance of conflict began to recommend the setting up of a Peace Commission. About this time last year, violence was tearing apart some of our communities in Southern Kaduna.
“Criminal acts of murder and reprisals triggered human suffering; which certain elite circles seized as opportunity to unleash an unwelcome talent for hate speech, incitement and outright lies.
“This regrettable episode has now been contained, with the assistance of the security assets of the Federal Government, funded by the Kaduna state government. The return to normalcy was considerably aided by the efforts of persons of goodwill who saw in conflict, not an opportunity for profit and self-aggrandizement, but a responsibility to urgently end human misery, and lay the basis for restoring communities torn apart by narrowmindedness and impunity.
“Since 1981, really shameful things, including murder, arson, ethnic and religious cleansing and the displacement of communities, have happened in this state. But we insist that the violent conflict that has hobbled Kaduna state shall not be the destiny of the state.
“We owe it to the victims to say never again, to try to establish mechanisms to proactively manage grievance and to insist that impunity shall have no place, that all persons and communities must employ only peaceful means to resolve differences, “ he said.