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ActionAid Nigeria urges Kaduna religious leaders to promote peaceful o-existence


ActionAid Nigeria urges Kaduna religious leaders to promote peaceful o-existence

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ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), has called on religious leaders and actors in Kaduna State to emphasize peace in their sermons, encouraging mutual understanding among different religious communities to foster progress and development.

AAN issued this call during its bi-annual religious dialogue for religious leaders and actors in Kaduna on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. The event aimed to promote peace and strengthen the activities of faith-based leaders across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.

The event, part of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE III) Project, is implemented in Kaduna by Global Peace Development (GPD). It gathered participants from the state’s two major religions: Christianity and Islam.

In his remarks, AAN’s Programme and SARVE III Project Coordinator, Aliyu Adamu, emphasized that the meeting’s goal was to enhanced dialogue between followers of the two religions, promoting tolerance, understanding, and peaceful co-existence for a prosperous Kaduna State.

Adamu noted the strategic importance of peace in Kaduna, stating that if the state remains peaceful, it will have a positive impact on the entire North-West region and the rest of Nigeria. He asserted that peace is essential for the development of any nation.

“To this end, AAN has developed a communique to collaborate with the government, traditional institutions, youth clubs, and various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state to enhance peaceful co-existence among the different ethnic and religious groups,” he explained.

The event also featured a review of the Interfaith Dialogue Manual Towards the Prevention of Violent Extremism – Christian and Islamic Perspectives. The review was facilitated by the Chief Imam of Waff Road Mosque, Imam Mohammed Sani Isa, and the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry, Sabon Tasha, Pastor Yohanna Buru.

Both facilitators urged participants to engage in interfaith dialogue, reconciliation, forgiveness, and mutual respect to ensure peace. They stressed that understanding and respecting each other’s religions is crucial for progress in Nigeria.

Pastor Buru and Imam Isa highlighted the importance of forgiveness, tolerance, and promoting peace and unity among Nigerians, regardless of tribal, cultural, or ethnic differences.

The Chief Imam of Kano Road Jumma’t Central Mosque, Kaduna, Habib Umar, expressed concern that despite identifying as Nigerians, people often do not demonstrate mutual understanding. He emphasized that differences should not divide us but should encourage unity and patriotism.

Imam Umar praised the organizers for their efforts and called for continued engagement with religious leaders to foster togetherness for a better Nigeria.

The General Coordinator of the Women’s Interfaith Council (WIC), an association of Christian and Muslim women, Mrs. Elizabeth Abuks, noted that the event was a much-needed reminder. She stressed the importance of empowering youth to create a better society.

“Given the current situation in Nigeria, we need to ensure the youth are included and supported. Many young people, aged 18-35, are jobless and angry. We need to address this to create a better country,” she cautioned.

Rev. Danjuma Mazado from the Grace Baptist Mission Centre, Kasuwan Magani, appreciated AAN for the event. He noted that the meeting revitalized religious leaders, reminding them to preach love, forgiveness, and peaceful co-existence.

AAN’s SARVE III Project Consortium Coordinator, Aliyu Adamu, explained that the project, funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), and aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of violent extremism, promote peaceful coexistence, and build social cohesion among vulnerable groups in Kaduna and Kano states.

Similarly, the Team Lead of Network Peace Journalists (NPJ) in Kaduna, Ibrahima Yakubu, emphasized the need for collective efforts to mitigate ethno-religious and political conflicts, ensuring peace and stability in the region.

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