The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday urged all leaders to assume their responsibility to uphold peace and harmony in the state.
The Governor was speaking in Samaru-Kataf where he presented the staff of office to the new Agwatyap, Dominic Gambo Yahaya.
While congratulating the Agwatyap, Mr. El-Rufai implored him to sustain the bridge-building legacy of the late Agwatyap, Harrison Bungon. The governor asked for a united response to those promoting violence and division.
“Our state needs everyone in formal and informal positions of leadership to speak up for and to uphold a common humanity,” Mr. El-Rufai said, noting that “too many merchants of hate and division menace our land. They seek to have their bread buttered by the suffering and destruction that violence brings. They promote a persistent victim mentality, pushing a narrative that relegates and diminishes people and inclines them to base conduct.
“They package ordinary people into the mistaken and dangerous belief that the dice is always loaded against them because of religion and region, thereby fuelling a baseless sense of rage and hate. When and wherever violence wreaks havoc to live and limb, they see opportunity to feather their nests, rather than embrace their responsibility to work to ensure everyone’s right to life, movement and residence is respected.”
Mr. El-Rufai reaffirmed the commitment of the government to security and peace building not only in Southern Kaduna, but in every part of the state. He disclosed that the government is exploring various avenues to secure peace, from supporting the security forces to promoting community engagements.
While observing that security efforts and intelligence gathering must improve, the governor said that peace is sustained ultimately by people’s willingness to live in harmony.
“We must all soberly acknowledge that the ultimate guarantee of peace is the willingness of people to live together in harmony and mutual respect,” he explained.
The Governor warned against a resort to self-help and the pursuit of vendettas and reprisals, saying that such conduct can only produce destruction.
“Whatever the grievances may be, the appropriate conduct is to report to the law enforcement agencies. We have been disappointed to hear people who should know better issuing irresponsible calls for self-help. This must stop! We intend to vigorously prosecute them to encourage compliance with our appeal.”