SEARCH FOR PEACE IN ATYAP LAND AND CRITICS WITHOUT ALTERNATIVE


Atyap Chiefdom is a microcosm of Southern Kaduna of Kaduna State and is therefore a reflection of the insecurity and crisis that have bedeviled the Zone in the last 30 years plus. It is rather sad that a zone that was a holiday destination for all and sundry in northern Nigeria has become a feared destination.

People from Sokoto, Katsina, Maiduguri, Kano, Adamawa, Plateau, Kano etc looked forward to celebrating the many festivities of Southern Kaduna people.

The Kagoro, Atyap, Bajju, Maroa, and Ham festivals show cases and symbolizes the rich cultures and traditions of its people. The end and early months of every year were nostalgic and cherished by indigenous people of the area and esteemed visitors. 

These led to positive appreciation of their diversity, rapid growth, external and internal investment opportunities, great tourism and numerous economic development potentials.

Kagoro, Kafanchan, Zonkwa and Kwoi town  became a Mecca to visitors because of the the richness in customs, traditions and hospitality of the Southern Kaduna People. 

Men  and women of the zone became the most sought in term of marriages and relationships cutting across the states of our dear federation. Their diversity was viewed as strength in respective of tribal, cultural and religious differences. This diversity was revered and hungered for. Opportunities to celebrate the religious and cultural festivals of its people was unparalleled.

Unfortunately the beauty and celebrations of humanity were destroyed by sudden distrust and conflicts that added nothing to the zone development either in faith nor physical. The consequences was the destruction of their common heritage, peaceful coexistence, social and economic development. Suddenly he zone became a pariah  location associated with butchery and inhuman conduct. Migration and abandonment became the order of the day, leading to increased poverty, unemployment, economic stagnation and general insecurity.

Zango Kataf and Atyap Chiefdom unfortunately became prominent players in these ignominy and its people were forced to continually give their side of the story of the unfortunate happenings depending on the audience biases.

All parties to the various conflicts unfortunately have nothing tangible to show in terms of human development. Rather sorrows and tears.

It was therefore hearth warming that Atyap people under the guidance and leadership of its paramount ruler embarked on seeking and proffering peaceful resolution to the myriad of conflicts that have bedeviled the chiefdom and its people. With the support of his well meaning Keith’s and kins a reproach was made to all parties on the need for sheathing of swords and cultivation of peaceful coexistence.

In seeking for peace nobody was of the illusion that these efforts would solve all concerns in a single swift, but rather a long and tortuous route that needs commitment and patience to succeed.

It is gratifying that peace is gradually returning to Atyap land and while also facing the challenges associated with such a tortuous journey. 

Sadly there are those who have been critical of the efforts of these leaders, using occasional skirmishes as basis for their criticism and pessimism.  In all history of conflicts and wars, parties engagements and dialogue have been the solution and  way out. This has led to the study of conflicts and resolution and application of dialogue and negotiation in avoiding or stopping wars.

Criticism are only meaningful when accompanied with alternative solution(s) to identified and acceptable problems. The leadership of Atyap land and majority of the people in the land Atyap(Kataf), Fulani, Hausa and others have come to agree dialogue and negotiations are the way forward for the peace, prosperity and future development of the land.

It is common knowledge that the tongue and teeth do sometimes have conflicts, but you do not cut the tongue or remove the teeth but learn how to live together in harmony.

Well meaningful citizens should please support these efforts not only in Atyap Land but in Kaduna State and Nigeria at large.

God bless our land, Kaduna State, Nigeria and humanity in general.

:~Sulaiman Garba Gora

About Dunio Mabushi

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