Youths in Kaduna state under the auspices of Nigerian Youth Congress at the weekend took decisive steps to familiarize themselves with challenges causing crisis in the state with a view to finding lasting solutions.
At a meeting held at Sardauna Memorial Foundation, Kaduna, the youth who came from all parts of the state shared opinions on the best ways they could understand themselves with the hope of sustaining peaceful coexistence through the use of dialogue.
The state chairman, Nigerian Youth Congress, Kaduna state chapter, Zaharaddeen Aminu Tafida, in his welcome address at the meeting said youths in the state will take proactive measures towards uniting themselves for a better future irrespective of any difference.
He lamented that the state has been sharply divided along religious lines, assuring that the youths would use their diversity as strength in ensuring a better society.
Speaking at this year all Kaduna Youth Peace Summit with the theme: “Sustaining Dialogue as a Mechanism of restoring Peace”, the state chairman noted that attention would be given through regular dialogue with the youth towards better understanding of one another as a major step of restoring confidence among the youths in the state.
He expressed delight that the state has abundant human and natural resources if properly harnessed could usher it into one of the developed states in the country.
Zaharaddeen called on the youth to see the forum as a good point where they can all come together to air their views and share ideas on the best way to move the state forward devoid of rancor or bitterness.
The guest Speaker, Dr Joshua Danjuma of the department of Political Science, Kaduna State University while speaking on the topic, “Sustaining Dialogue as a Mechanism of Restoring Peace in Kaduna State” noted that dialogue seems to be the only mechanism that can help in understanding the people, their drive, needs, and expectations.
He added, “In this sense, it constitutes a viable mechanism for conflict resolution. It is a mechanism for resolving intractable conflicts.”
Dr Danjuma explained that the goal of dialogue is to develop joint approaches to conflict resolution, as well as improve relationships, understanding, and trust between individuals or groups in conflict with one another.
He said dialogue processes bring together actors from across the conflict divide (Christians and Moslems) to develop an improved understanding of the concerns, interests, and needs of the other side.
Speaking on factors militating against the use of dialogue, he observed that retaliation, bigotry, fire brigade approach,
compromise, wrong perception of other people’s religions or faith as well as the literacy level of religious adherents.
The best pathway, according to him to successful dialogue is by engaging the right stakeholders in society, such as civil society organizations, professional association, leaders, political parties, among others for concrete steps to ensuring peaceful coexistence.
According to him, “Adherents of the various religions and tribal groups should understand that there are similarities among the tribes and religions and dialogue cannot lead to syncretism.”
Hd added, “There is a need to encourage peace education for the peaceful co-existence of groups in the state. To this end, fanatical tendencies on the part of youths can be rid off.”