Kaduna State government on Saturday donated 100 million naira to support the rebuilding of churches and mosques destroyed during ethno-religious crisis in the Southern Kaduna communities.
Announcing the donation during the historic unveiling of public apology billboards in Jama’a, Kachia, Kaura, Sanga and Zangon Kataf for the return of permanent peace in the area, governor Nasir El-Rufai said his government had drafted a bill to set up the Kaduna State Peace Commission in fulfillment of the promises he made in 2015.
The governor added that the Commission would enable inclusion of all citizens on plans for peaceful co-existence of the people in the state.
El-Rufai, in his speech entitled ‘apology, forgiveness, key to peace’, said: “In recognition of the vital importance of showing concrete manifestations of peace, the government has decided to support civic efforts to rebuild damaged churches, mosques and othrr structures destroyed with a seed fund of
“The challenge of achieving peace and justice is a complex process that requires imagination, wide consultations, technical support, research and time. I have promised you change. I will not be derailed
from the legacy of peace that Southern Kaduna deserves from my generation.”
The governor stressed: “This state belongs to everyone that has chosen to make it a home. Let us respect each other, abide by the law, do our duty to uphold harmony and firmly reject division and violence.
“Today we are here to launch a Public Apology Billboard, as we grief over the lives sadly taken in the recent violence in the Godogodo chiefdom. Why, our children ask, are we able to discuss peace for
decades but not find it on the ground?
“Now, 29 ethnic communities of Southern Kaduna present a Public Apology billboard to us. These people represented their communities at the dialogues that resulted in the Kafanchan Peace Declaration.
“They were sent to represent their communities by their leaders. Wide consultations within their communities was carried out in selecting
them. Their input and contribution to peace in Southern Kaduna has been crucial. Allow me to opine that leaders are not born and neither
are they made.
“They are summoned by circumstances and whoever steps forth and provides a solution becomes a leader. These men and women who have
given us the public apology billboard saw one of our problems as the lack of peace.
“They have stepped forward and began providing
solutions. They have decided to own their peace as communities. These people are leaders.
“These group of resilient leaders drawn from different religions and ideologies have now been joined by many more, ordinary citizens, who
are now going around Southern Kaduna, seeking the buy in of traditional elders, community and religious leaders, women, youth and he civil society to never again indulge in violence.
“They want to set up billboards across the five LGA’s of Sanga, Kachia, Kaura, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf, at roundabouts, Schools and places of worship.
“Their message is that no ethnic group, ideology, religion or political party holds all the answers.”