By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Development and Peace Initiative (DPI) Kaduna, has urged the Federal Government to beef up security particularly in violent prone areas in Southern Kaduna to prevent the crisis there from escalating.
The call was predicated on the need to curtail the influx of alleged perpetrators of violent crimes in Southern Kaduna blamed on Fulani herdsmen.
Head of Programmes, DPI, Emmanuel Tagwai made the call Wednesday in an interview with newsmen at the Bi-monthly meeting of Peace and Security Forum organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja.
Tagwai while lamenting that a lot of persons had lost their lives in the crisis that was fast assuming a religious dimension said, “Government needs to beef up security. If people come to the community to attack and go freely, harmless people are prone to danger. Though community members have a role to play in protecting their environment, the larger parts of it goes to the government because it has all the apparatus and the means to protect civilians”.
He also urged the government to involve all stakeholders in its peace efforts, noting that the lack of trust among community members and the government was responsible for the failures of many peace talks in the area. “If people don’t trust their leaders they will always oppose them, that was what was responsible for the stoning of some leaders at the recent peace meeting initiative by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam El-Rufai”, he said.
He disclosed that among the 12 grazing routes in Kaduna only the one in Kachia LG was gazetted and advised that government should have an all-inclusive meeting with critical stakeholders before amending the grazing route act.
He also advised media practitioners to investigate issues thoroughly in order not to misinform the public and thereby fueling the crisis.
He also advised that media messages should be centered on things that bind us as a people rather than divisive and hate messages which tended to destruction. He disclosed that the Development and Peace Initiative was working with the Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) in 12 states of the federation rated as high risk states preaching the gospel of harmony and peaceful co-existence.