When the violence in South Kaduna erupted again last Christmas John Dada was tweeting about it. See @fantsuam  (from December 24th - 28th 2016). We know about the violence in Kaduna state, from the perspective of the people who are there. (There was  also a brief update within my previous post 24 hours with DadaMac )

Analysis from Chatham House

This Chatham House article is highly relevant to us - Violence in Southern Kaduna Threatens to Undermine Nigeria’s Democratic Stability. It  came to our attention via Steve Podmore, a long time friend of DadaMac.

The article is by Leena Koni Hoffmann Associate Fellow, Africa Programme and begins:

A wave of devastating attacks and reprisals in the southern part of the state is a chilling reminder of rural Nigeria’s vast security vulnerabilities and communal tensions.

(It shows a photo captioned "A woman walks past destroyed stalls at Kafanchan central market on 25 April 2011 in Kaduna. Photo: Getty Images.)

Over the past two decades, Nigeria’s Kaduna State has experienced a sharp segregation along religious and ethnic lines precipitated by about a dozen outbreaks of violence. Kaduna’s Hausa-Fulani residents, who are mostly Muslim, are the majority in the northern half of the state, while the people of southern Kaduna are predominantly Christian, although tribally and linguistically diverse. The river that runs through the city of Kaduna, the state capital, highlights the starkness of the divide: the northern half is unofficially called Mecca; the south, Jerusalem. See more

We know Kafanchan market

We know that market at Kafanchan well, and that terrible event in the photo (and other aspects of the violence in the area, from 2011 right up to the present). It is the big market closest to Fantsuam Foundation. John Dada was telling us about the whole dreadful situation over the weeks and months that it unfolded, and Nikki Fishman was blogging about it. Given John’s work in the community, and his lack of political or faith-based allegiance, he has taken a leading role in conflict resolution and peacekeeping initiatives.

Many of the market women who had their businesses destroyed back in 2011 were Fantsuam Foundation microfinance clients. Usually the level of repayments on microfinance loans is very high 98-99% - but with their businesses destroyed the women couldn’t repay. This of course had a knock on effect for the Fantsuam Foundation (FF) micro-finance programme.

We sent money to FF to help some of the women get started again. There is so much more about this in our archives, and even more that John could say about ways to address the issues and work towards lasting peace.

(Note to possible volunteers. Regarding our archives, we need help transferring information from the archives to our new website. Please get in touch if you would be willing to help. We can teach you how to do it.)

The need for connection

When Steve sent the link to John he wrote

“(snip)  I just received an email from Chatham House - which includes the article - which make my heart heavy to read. With all the updates and positive stories from you - the backdrop of challenges that you face is laid bare in these words.

The work you are doing (snip)  - is essential to address these awful circumstances of division and resource allocation - whipped up by history and raw emotion. Solutions will not be easy under any circumstances, but your work deserves as much support as possible - and it needs to be taken seriously - with every attempt to use as a positive example of replicable integrated development.

Which makes me think, this article though unfiltered (snip) gives the opportunity to respond with hope (snip) With your permission I will enquire and see what I can do to get the ball rolling.”

Chatham House  is an independent policy institute based in London.

Its "About" page says:

Our mission is to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. (snip) Founded in 1920, Chatham House engages governments, the private sector, civil society and its members in open debate and confidential discussion on the most significant developments in international affairs. Each year, the institute runs more than 300 private and public events – conferences, workshops and roundtables – in London and internationally with partners. Our convening power attracts world leaders and the best analysts in their respective fields from across the globe. See more

I hope Steve is successful in building some kind of bridge between the level of debate and discussion at Chatham House, and the level of local knowledge and wisdom that John can offer. Building such connections is one of the main challenges we face in enabling effective "Development". We need two way communication between "the great and the good" at the policy level and the good work and local knowledge of people like John Dada.