Gombe communities seek in-depth causes of recurring crisis 

Gombe communities seek in-depth causes of recurring crisis 

Leaders of Lunguda Communities in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State are seeking for in-depth causes of recurring attacks on its communities, despite various initiatives to halt hostilities, especially in Nyuwar and Jessu Districts.

The calls, made separately by traditional rulers in Nyuwar and Jessu directed their cry to the West African Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP, the Gombe State Government and the Paramount Ruler of the Waja Tribe, the Bala-Waja, His Royal Highness Alhaji Mohammed Danjuma Muhammad, under whose traditional domain the Lunguda people reside.

The District Head of Nyuwar and the Village Head of Sabon Layi in Jessu Community want to know why despite various initiatives by the governments of Adamawa and Gombe State, WANEP and the Bala-Waja, the crisis between the two communities, who have lived together in peace, had suddenly deepened.

The two traditional leaders are therefore seeking for help from these groups of people in finding out the real seasons the Lunguda communities are frequently being destroyed, its people killed and chased out of their communities every time they come back.

During an advocacy visit to the District Head of Nyuwar in Gombe and the donation of some relief materials to the internally displaced people in Jessu, by WANEP, in collaboration with Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, both leaders say the actual reason for the attacks could determine the solution to the recurring crisis.

The District Head of Nyuwar, former Secretary to the Gombe State Government, His Highness, Mr.

James Pisaghi, said various peace negotiations/mediations, meetings, dialogues held and agreements signed would continue to be ignored and attacks would continue unless the matter was traced to its roots.

Mr.

Pisaghi said the recent attack on Nyuwar on the 8th of February, 2022 came to them as a surprised, because they thought they had found a solution to the main cause of the crisis between the Lunguda and Waja speaking communities, with renewed interactions between them and cooled tempers, only to be attacked unprovoked.

He said there were no physical boundaries between the two tribes and as such no one was asked not to cross into each other’s side, because they had lived together for over 300 years, intimately knowing each other’s history and relations.

The District Head of Nyuwar, however, said even though he believed that time would heal all wounds, the fact still remained that most people who lost their relations to such attacks knew who their killers were and it would be difficult to interact again with such knowledge.

He said his people remained grateful to the various interventions from outside their communities, but that the interventions were mere scratches on the surface, unless the real reasons for the attacks were known.

“So, my own understanding of the crisis is that, I think it’s being brushed on the surface.

It’s not gone deep into it to know what the real causes, immediate and remote are.

We are just brushing, that is why they are reoccurring.

If we hit it on the head hard, we’ll have some relief.

And we are praying, because that is the ultimate, that God will reveal, so that all o us will understand where we are all coming from and all we need is peace,” said the District Head of Nyuwar.

      
For the Village Head of Sabon Layi, Mr.

Busa Zwaye, said his community was hosting about a thousand displaced people from Nyuwar, who were attacked on Tuesday last week, 8th of February, 2022 and some of them came to Jessu to escape the attack.

He is passionate about knowing the wrong the Lunguda people had committed against their Waja speaking neighbours, whom they had lived together with for over 300 years and had now turned enemies.

Mr.

Zwaye believes that when the faults of the Lunguda speaking communities were spelt out to them, perhaps they would stop it or dialogue over it.

“When errors are known, they would be redressed.

If they are known, they will not be redressed.

I therefore call on the West African Network for Peace building, WANEP, to kindly help, source out what actually is the problem that has disturbed the Waja Race If they will come out to specifically to talk about the bone of contention, what are their feelings, what are the Lunguda people doing to them that is warranting these attacks, we shall appreciate it that much, because we are always happy to know why such attacks are occurring,” said Mr.

Zwaye.

He said his people were ever ready to accept the solutions for lasting peace in their communities.

The National Coordinator of WANEP, Mrs.

Bridget Osakwe, said the most strategic move by both leaders of the Lunguda and Waja Communities should be the physical demonstration of forgiveness and the show of unity by them, so that the followership would naturally emulate.

Also, the Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Mrs.

Emem Okon, whose organisation presented various food and non-food items to the IDPs in Jessu, was worried that the donations was inadequate because of the number of the displaced people on ground in Jessu.

Mrs.

Okon said because majority of the displaced people were children and women, there were the special needs to be met.

Because the IDPs are mostly women and children, which is usually the situation when there is conflict, women and children tend to suffer more, because they have to take care of family, they have to take care of children and I began to imagine what that number of displaced women and children would be going through.

Where they are they are not comfortable.

I try to observe the issues of having access to water, educational needs of the children, they are out of school.

I was also thinking about the health needs and nutritional needs, because they have to survive for this period that they are out of their homes,” said Mrs.

Okon.

The member of the Gombe State House of Assembly Representing Balanga South, Mr.

Hamza Adamu, who was also on ground to present his own relief materials to the displaced in Jessu, said he also felt sad about the development and was there to condole with the people and donate some foodstuffs to the displaced people.

Mr.

Adamu said while he prayed to God for an end to the crisis, he was hoping to discuss such matters with the relevant stakeholders, especially Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, to bring an end to the crisis, as well as achieve the much desired peace in the area.

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Gombe communities seek in-depth causes of recurring crisis 

TDPel Media

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