By Naomi Yakawich
One Family under God Campaign Gains Traction as Peace Building Effort to Address Religious Crisis
After experiencing rising tension and violence in Nigeria’s Southern Kaduna state, Global Peace Foundation’s (GPF) One Family under God campaign is being pushed to the forefront of peace making efforts to subdue further conflict. The most recent series of ethno-religious killings and counter-killing between members of Nigeria’s indigenous populations and the predominantly nomadic, Muslim Fulani people was addressed swiftly in a consultation between GPF representatives and 80 local Fulani leaders from eight local government areas in Southern Kaduna on January 17, 2016.
Leaders expressed their resolve to find a resolution to what has been described as a “religious crisis.” Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria and Kaduna State’s Interim Chairman of Jaba Local Government Area, Mr. Ben Kure, showed his solidarity and implored other leaders to partner with branches of government to encourage inter-organizational cooperation.
Pointing out the underlying issues ignited by rumors and false accusations, Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Haruna Usman Tuga discouraged reprisal attacks, emphasizing the sheer number of innocent lives lost in local communities.
Before concluding the meeting, Fulani youth leaders made a team resolve to work against the incitement of violent attacks. As a population largely affected by extremist actions, youth are essential participants in countering a culture that emboldens acts of violence based on religious or ethnic diversity.
The One Family Under God campaign, initiated in 2013 at the Global Peace Leadership Conference in Abuja, is a grassroots, values-based approach to peace building that engages faith leaders in taking the lead to foster cooperation between diverse communities through training workshops, retreats, and community projects. The campaign is an ongoing mediation effort to end the crisis of violence taking place across Nigeria.