Musa Na Allah Sokoto
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah has urged Northerners to join hands in the fight against insecurity in the region.
Kukah was speaking at an extraordinary high-level town hall meeting for the promotion of peace and security held at Command Guest House Sokoto in collaboration with Global Rights and other International support groups.
He said the implementation of the town hall meeting by the two bodies is to deploy strategies for increasing access to justice, promoting credible peaceful, democratic processes in the North West, and strengthening civic participation and peacebuilding with an emphasis on Kaduna and Sokoto States.
The project according to the religious leader is being implemented by Global Rights in partnership with The Kukah Center and with support from the CSSF Nigeria Stability program of the United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
He said the North West region of Nigeria, previously considered to be relatively peaceful and safe is now the bane of Insecurity in Nigeria, where banditry and terrorism have created a significant challenge that needs to be tackled to advance Women’s rights and voices.
He told the Participants at the meeting that instability in the region has threatened to put women’s issues on the back burner and erode the gains made on gender development over the years.
Sokoto State Governor Ahmed Aliyu described Bishop Kukah as a man of integrity honour who believed in the continuation of Nigeria as one indivisible entity in respective of our diverse religious beliefs.
He said the current challenge of insecurity facing the state would soon be overcome as the government is doing everything possible to support the security apparatus in the state in their war against terrorist and other criminal gangs operating parts of the state.
The Governor who was represented by the permanent secretary ministry for religious affairs Abubkar Toronkawa, commended Kukah for his foresight in the search for peace and stability in the northwest, saying that with the likes of Kukah the north and indeed Nigeria would be a better place for all to enjoy.
The District head of Gagi Alhaji Sani Jabbi in his remarks at the meeting urged Bishop Kukah to continue the good work he has started since his assumption of duty in Sokoto as Catholic Bishop of the Diocese.
He Said Kukah has worked so much in the maintenance of peace and peaceful coexistence in the northern part of Nigeria, especially in the northwest subregion.
He further stated that people should not be judged by their religious beliefs or ethnic background but should be based on their actions and behaviors.
The District head commended the Bishop for establishing a world-class center for peace and security development that has been championing peaceful coexistence in the north and other part of the country.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Sultan of Sokoto his eminence Alhaji Muhammad Saad Abubkar III represented by the District head of Kilgori Dr Muhsmmad Jabbi Kilgori urged traditional and religious leaders not to relent in their efforts to ensure peace in their domain, saying that the current insecurity challenge in the north is worrisome adding that the carnage requires divine intervention and constant prayers to overcome.
He said the sultanate council is willing to partner with any organization or group working for the promotion of peace and security not only in the northwest but the entire country.
Sultan Saad however commended organizers of the town hall meeting while urging Participants to pass the message of peace to the grassroots where criminal elements are taking undue advantage of the lack of adequate social amenities to establish their bases.