The Concept, ‘Zauren Sulhu Youth Peace and Conflict Resolution Initiative’, a deliberate programme to create platforms for peaceful co-existence among aggrieved persons and or ethnic and religious groups or communities in Bauchi state is under threat of sabotage.
The Founder of the concept and chairman of the Initiative, Mr. Trong Francis has petitioned the State Governor, Isa Yuguda against the sabotage allegedly being perpetrated by some agencies of the state government for what he described as ‘self-aggrandizement’.
The petition letter to the Governor dated February 18, 2015 gave three agencies of the government namely Office of the Director- General on Peace and Reconciliation, Ministry for Religious Affairs and the State Sharia Commission as responsible for the act.
The Concept, Zauren Sulhu Youth Peace and Conflict Resolution Initiative came into public interest following serious crisis that caused divisions among Christians and Muslims in Tafawa Balewa local government area of the state sometimes in 2011.
Mr. Trong Francis was initially the Chairman of Gyara Kayanmu Tailoring Union of Bauchi under which auspices relief materials were canvassed and distributed to the crisis affected residents of Tafawa Balewa local government area in that year.
Francis said relief materials distribution to the crisis victims in 2011 was in Bununu witnessed by Governor Isa Yuguda where the vision ‘Zauren Sulhu’ came to him, and was realized after a similar crisis erupted in a secondary school at Yelwan Tudu, Bauchi.
The founder hinged the successful realization of the concept, Zauren Sulhu to the support being given to it by the state government under the leadership of Governor Isa Yuguda and the Emir of Bauchi, Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, saying the Zaure played significant role towards the creation of the Ministry for Religious Affairs.
Mr. Trong Francis however expressed dismay that efforts by the Zauren Sulhu to pay courtesy visit to the State Governor, Isa Yuguda were thwarted by some agencies of the government, particularly the Ministry for Religious Affairs and the Office of Director-General on Peace led by Mr. Kennedy Masau.
He also alleged in the letter that the effort by the Zauren Sulhu to launch a fund raising event to galvanized support to it was massacred by Mr. Kennedy Masau who in the attempt to hijack the programme even threatened to arrest him.
“But I keep the good work going on until His Excellency created the Ministry for Religious and Community Relations Affairs, before then I wrote a proposal to His Excellency through the Director –General Office for more than a year with no response”, Francis said.
According to the concept founder, Zauren Sulhu though fully endorsed and supported by the Ministry for Religious Affairs, is also being jettisoned by the same Ministry which, he opined, has since been making efforts to hijack it.
Mr. Trong Francis who revealed that Zauren Sulhu now has 219 branches across 17 of the 20 local government areas of Bauchi state was registered with the state government and the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Zauren Sulhu branches included Chara-Chara Tike Azare Albarka Zauren Sulhu Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd, Jangu Elders Zauren Sulhu Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd, and Warji Gatu Lungwa Zauren Sulhu Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
Also in the branches are Mararraban Liman Katagum Miyatti-Allah Zauren Sulhu, Kofar Dumi Dan-Amar ‘B’ Ward Elders and Youth Zauren Sulhu, Unguwar Malam-Goje Zauren Sulhu, and Lekka Miyatti-Allah Zauren Sulhu Peace and Conflict Resolution Forum.