Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Campaign for Democracy and Development (CDD) has organised a dialogue initiative programme to re-unite victims of Boko Haram insurgency and communities affected by the violence in Borno State.
Senior Programme Officer, Jasper Ukachukwu, who spoke in Maiduguri, during the two-day initiative with traditional leaders, women and youths from Gwoza Local Government, lamented that the 10-year crisis has affected the unity of the people.
“We’ve done our assessment with all the communities on the impact of the violence, and we realised there is need to bring the people together, to heal the wound of the insurgency,” he said.
The pro-democracy group’s officer said issue of water and sanitation was also part of the programme, as displacement of people had engendered peaceful co-existence.
“People move from one place to another because of several attacks and it is expected that there would be struggle over water, which is not even adequate. So, we are looking at this critical issue, sensitising the people on what should be done when such situation arises,” he said.
Steve Amuda , who is the officer for the peace initiative said the programme was designed with special focus on sports as a potent tool for promoting peace. He said the youths will be encouraged to get involved in sporting activities to re-unite the people. He said Gwoza was chosen because of its perculiarity having several ethnic units and languages.
Gwoza, an heterogeous town southeast of Maiduguri, has over 14 ethnic units, but Boko Haram had reportedly set communities against themselves using their religious differences.
The insurgents in 2014 allegedly gathered people in two communities through misinformation using religious sentiment and then opened fire on them.