From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
After several clashes over farm encroachment and reprisal attacks in southern Kaduna , the Fulani and the native farmers of Kachia local government area have finally agreed for a cease-fire.
Members of the two warring groups, who spoke to our correspondent during a two-day training workshop, organized by the Interfaith Mediation Centre for pastoralists, farmers and community leaders on Peace Building, Conflict transformation and mediation, held at Kachia, in Kaduna state yesterday, identified lack of sincerity, encroachment of grazing lands, unforgiving spirit, reprisal attacks on innocent citizens as some of the factors responsible for the frequent clashes between the Fulani and farmers in the entire southern Kaduna area.
In a communiqué, issued at the end of the 2- day workshop, the participants resolved to cease fire, stop reprisal attacks, killings, organize regular town hall meetings, provide grazing lands, restore enduring peace and promote peaceful coexistence between the Fulani and the native farmers.
The Fulani, on their part, assured the natives of abiding by the conditions of cease fire, but urged the natives to give them assurance that when they return, nothing will happen to them.
According to the District Head of Gumel, Musa Mandam, there is no better time than now for both the Fulani and the native farmers to put an end to clashes that have hitherto created acrimony, left many community members dead, with properties as well as farmlands destroyed .
“We sheath our sword and shall allow peace to reign” Mandam stated.
In his remark, the District Head of Mazuga, Yusuf Tawaye commended the Centre for providing the platform to discuss their differences as community members of Kachia, but observed that peace and sanity returns to the area “If the parties involved speak out about the remote issues that usual ignite the frequent violence between the Fulanis and natives of the area.
Fielding questions on the motive behind Interfaith Mediation Centre organizing a workshop, sponsored by the German Embassy, Pastor James Wuye said it is to help create a platform where the warring sides can meet to vent anger and resolve their differences.