By Tamami Jeon
On May 11, 2020, a number of unidentified gunmen launched an attack on the indigenous people of the Gonan Rogo community of the Kajuru Local Government Area and its surrounding community. This resulted in the deaths of sixteen people, with five people sustaining severe injuries and displacing about 350 families across the Gonan Rogo, Makyali, Agwala, Ungwan Modi and Ungwan Rana villages. The majority of those who were displaced were women and children who have taken asylum in the Maraban Kajuru Internally Displaced Camp.
Kajuru Local Government Area had steadily experienced an increase in ethnoreligious violent conflicts with the destruction of both lives and property. This particular incident attracted the attention of both national and international peace actors and development organizations, including the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria.
The Chairman of Kajuru Peace and Reconciliation Committee, Honorable Patrick Maigari, at the Internally Displaced Camp said GPF Nigeria’s humanitarian support for the victims and its internally displaced persons was commendable and will go a long way in sustaining the victims. He stressed that they are continuously working to meet the needs of the displaced persons living in the camp. He further noted that the GPF Nigeria has made tremendous progress in promoting peaceful coexistence and increased understanding among diverse ethnoreligious groups in the area through its ‘One Family Under God’ Campaign. He stressed that they will continue to support and cooperate with GPF in hopes of restoring peace to the area.
The Country Director for GPF Nigeria, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, expressed solidarity and support for the victims of the attacks and discouraged those from beginning a cycle of reprisals and counter-reprisal attacks. He presented food and hygiene items on behalf of the organization and reaffirmed GPF’s commitment to continue its One Family Under God campaign. He also called on the government to be just to the victims by protecting their lives and properties and to come to their aid in this difficult time.
Sheikh Halliru Maraya, the Northern Coordinator for the Global Peace Foundation, Nigeria expressed his own dismay over the attacks. He noted that the resulting losses, in fact, affect all of humanity because they were all our brothers and sisters as part of our one human family. He encouraged those gathered to forgive and not to seek retaliation.
The internally displaced persons and beneficiaries of the food items were enthusiastic and expressed their appreciation to the Global Peace Foundation, Nigeria for coming to their aid as they struggled to survive due, in part, to the lockdown of the state. They were encouraged against conducting reprisal attacks. They also used to opportunity to send a message to the government and the general public to come to their aid through the media. The story was covered by both electronic and print media outlets.