A coalition of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Council of Ulamas in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro local government areas of Bauchi state have revealed that for peace to return to the area, government need to actualised zaar/Sayawa chiefdom, also to facilitate the return of all displaced persons to their communities. Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Reverend Father Vincent Bature, CAN Chairman of Bogoro local government area said that they had series of meetings on the subject matter and finally agreed for the actualisation of Sayawa chiefdom and return of IDPs to their respective communities as the only panacea for peace Reverend Bature noted with concern that, “the delay in the actualisation of Sayawa Chiefdom is affecting preservation of culture and tradition in the area. He said further that the delay was also creating division and lack of unity amongst others within the people of the community.
According to him, “Sometimes back, we were informed by some of our stakeholders that you met with them and promised to complete this process. Sir, we know that you are a man of your words and the entire people of Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro are eagerly waiting for your once and for all action on this.”
He appealed to the State Government to re-construct Tafawa Balewa central mosque and other mosques for the Muslim faithful in the two local government areas who are in dare need of places of worships. Father Bature said other condition for peace, include, Government to facilitate the return of the displaced persons to their communities since peace has returned. “As people, we have resolved to continue to live peacefully with one another for the socio-economic development of the areas and the Bauchi state as a whole.”
The CAN Chairman, however ask their followers to resume the old brotherliness love of their forefathers who lived peacefully with each other despite their different beliefs. The coalition while congratulating the governor for a successful one year in office and the numerous achievements so far recorded, commended him for carrying along, the entire people of the state in his policies and programs without any religious, political or tribal sentiment. “Your performance is a great testimony shared by all. The good people of Bauchi state, particularly those of us in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro are truly grateful and will continue to support your government in the great strides for good governance,” he said.
“In an effort to complement your administration’s desire for peace and unity that the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Council of Ulamas of the two local governments have established a Peace Coalition Movement to promote peaceful coexistence.” He explained that, apart from promotion of peace, the coalition also aimed at managing conflict, sensitisation and to conduct enlightenment programs that are geared towards the need for people to embrace peace in whatever they do. Reverend Bature said that the peace coalition recorded tremendous success in terms of peace building through negotiations with various stakeholders in the two local governments. They appreciated the governor for ensuring the security of lives and properties in the state, adding that his recent inauguration of a committee on farmers and herders is a welcome development.
The coalition which said the move will forestall breakdown of law and order in the state, pledged to complement the effort by working together with all stakeholders in peace building by preaching the gospel of peace to its followers. Also speaking, the Chief Imam of Tafawa Balewa, Sheikh Ado Musa Tafawa Balewa corroborated the submission of the Reverend Bature, stressing that peace has finally returned in the two local government areas after decades of ethno-religious crisis.
He requested government to provide cemetery for both Christians and Muslims in the two local government areas. While responding, Governor Bala Mohammed promised to ensure the actualization of the Sayawa Chiefdom through community engagement where all stakeholders will have a stake. He said that his administration will work with stakeholders to ensure the safe return of all the displaced persons in the two LGAs back to their original places. He expressed concern over lack of meaningful projects in the area due to religious and tribal crisis, insisting that, meaningful development could only be achieved in a peaceful environment. “Today is a very historic moment for me, in my life, I have handled several difficult assignments and confronted with different situations.
Your coming here is a solution to the problems affecting your communities”, the governor said. Bala expressed delight that Muslims and Christians in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro have united and have to him to proffer solutions to the numerous problems confronting the area.
He said the state government will set up mechanism to resolve the issue raised by the coalition through community engagement and collective decision. Governor Bala who promised to engage all the stakeholders involved to resolve the issues amicably without any bias, urged the religious leaders to sensitise the youths to desist from engaging or allowing themselves to be used for violence.