Barnawa a mixed community located in Kaduna South Local Government of Kaduna State is known as one of the most peaceful communities in the state with the Muslim and Christian residents enjoying peaceful coexistence. Surprisingly on Thursday November 3, 2016, IMC learnt through a CPO from the community of a fight that broke out between members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, community members and Marafa (a local chief).
CPAN and youth departments visited the community for firsthand information about the clash and to provide possible assistance to prevent further escalation of the clash.
Our findings revealed:
That owing to increase of sexual immorality among the youths in the community, a meeting was held between members of the Vigilante group and the traditional ruler (Hakimi) where the following resolutions were reached:
- Unmarried persons found hanging around dark areas would be apprehended
- Those who are courting should meet in an open environment to avoid sexual abuse
- The time of patrol by members of the Vigilante group should be changed from 2:30am to 7:30pm to help check any immoral activities of youths in the community.
Implementation of these resolutions began and Vigilante members went out for patrol on Friday October 28 around 7:30pm, they caught a young girl and her boyfriend in adark corner of the Babar Layi Street who were ordered to leave the place. This led to argument between the Vigilante group and the couples. One of the Vigilante members whipped the girl and asked her to return home to her parents. The next morning, tales of what transpired between members of the CJTF and the couple spread round Barnawa community. This angered some youths, numbering about 100 who mobilized themselves against the member of the Vigilante and pelted them with stones while they were on patrol in the evening of the following day.
Members of the Vigilante got information that Marafa’s son who is also a barber was the mastermind of the protest by the youth groups. Subsequently the Vigilante Group attempted to arrest him but he resiste and this resulted in some parts of his barbing salon being destroyed.
Marafa and some youths in the community took the case to the court and all parties involved were summoned by the judge. A judgment was passed asking members of the CJTF to pay a sum of 45,000 naira which was allegedly stolen from the barbers shop in the night the incident happened.
The Hakimi of Barnawa Community paid 20,000 Naira to the barberpromising to pay the balance of 25,000 later. The Hakimi who is also a member of the IMC TOLERANCE Conflict Management and Mitigation Regional Council (CMMRC) called the feuding parties and held a dialogue session where it was resolved that the youths from Babar Layi Street will join the Vigilante group to help keep Barnawa peaceful.
IMC after deliberating on the issue resolved as follow:
· IMC would liaise with other NGOs working in the area of adolescent reproductive health so as to enlighten sexually active youths in Barnawa on reproductive health care.
· Security outpost in Kaduna would be notified on the happening so that rules of engagement should be clearly spelt out for Civilian Joint Task Force members working in various communities in Kaduna state.
· Members of CMMRC should be briefed on the issue so that a thorough follow up should be carried out by the group to prevent further outbreak of violence.