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Interfaith Harmony Week: IMC Take peace campaign to Kaduna LGA



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BY Abdullahi Alhassan, and Amina Haruna Maijinka Kaduna


To mark this year interfaith Harmony week and part of efforts towards ensuring Peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance between Christian and Muslims in Kaduna state and the country at a large.

Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) Kaduna have take Peace Campaign to Kasuwar Magani community in kajuru local government area of Kaduna state. Speaking during the occasion the Co-Executive Director of Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) Kaduna, Imam (Dr.) Muhammad Ashafa.Said the success stories of the peaceful coexistence and forgiveness so far recorded in Kasuwan Magani and indeed Kajuru LGA today could be attributed to the people themselves particularly the women who collectively resolved to give peace a chance in their community.

The event with the theme: Bridging the Divide: Embracing Diversity for the Collective Wellbeing” was organized by IMC and supported by the Opus Prize. It also coincided with the weekly Kasuwan Magani market where survivors of conflicts in the area came out enmass to share their stories of survival.

Explained that the wisdom behind the relative peace being experience in the once crises prone Kasuwan Magani, didn’t just happened overnight, but because the people agreed to take their destiny into their hands not waiting for government to bring security for them, nor for any political leader intervention, but the collective resolved of the people to help their community heal and live in peace, because it is their wish to live in peace.

According to him, the IMC in collaboration with the State Government, including various security agencies, traditional institutions and other platforms worked assiduously in those days of bloody conflicts where killings and maiming of lives and destruction of property were rife, thinking of how to return sanity back to the area.

He further explained that “Today, we are celebrating Kajuru and Kasuwan Magani where the same market was rebuilt and people from far and near have returned to market their products.”Ashafa added:

Imam Ashafa noted that “It was the wish of the Kasuwan Magani community members who decided to say we’re going to stay and work towards maintaining peace in their area. And that’s why one of the mandates the community promoted was that any stranger who comes into the community and is hosted by anyone and if that stranger is discovered to promote violence or conflict of any kind, then, both the stranger and his host will be banished from the community.

Also speaking, at the event Reverend Makama Danjuma Mazadi, of Grace Baptist Church Kasuwan Magani, said what happened in his community in 2018, when he was then the chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the troubled community members went through was very serious, and the cessation of peace turned the area into a death zone.

According to him, since the crisis there is a breach of trust among the people because they no longer trust or love one another again.

He however said with the coming intervention of IMC and other Non-Governmental Organizations to help and ensure that Kasuwan Magani is revived, and with the help of the State Government at the time creating lots of meetings and seminars, this then gave the people of the area confidence to come and tell those in the grassroots that there was need to follow peace going by scriptural injunctions from the both holy books – Bible and the Quo’ran.

He said: “If there’s no peace, our worships is irrelevant. Our worships to God is not truthful and hence, we have to strife for peace. And because of what has happened in Kasuwan Magani, we decided to initiate lots of things that will bring peace and one of such is the unity between Pastors and Imams. This has given us the courage to visit Mosques and Churches.”

Rev. Mazadi who commended the IMC, Mercy Corps, as well as other NGOs for their efforts at ensuring that peace is restored to their community said, “We thank these organizations and wish we have other international donors that will support IMC and Mercy Corps among others to assist them spread this interventions to other places where there are crises, because when there’s unity, there’s peace

While Sharing her own story of loss, trauma, hatred, love and forgiveness, 19-year old, Nuria Yusuf who lost her father during the crisis said “life for me, and my four siblings became very difficult after our father was killed.
“We ran into serious financial problems and the burden of the upkeep rested squarely on the frail shoulders of my mother alone who could barely make ends meet for the five of us.

“After my father’s demise, I hated the Christians thinking they were the ones that killed my father. However, when IMC came in preaching peace, I had a rethink about the whole issue especially when both sides have the same story to tell.
“Today, I do not hate the Christians any more because all of my friends are mostly from the Christian faith, and not even one from the Muslim faith. I have forgiven everyone and allowed God to heal my heart,” Nuria said.

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