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Interfaith Committee Pioneers Ongoing Peacebuilding Efforts in Nigeria

“If not for the continuous work of Global Peace Foundation in this Chiefdom, the people would have already given up. The people are now aware that they are not alone, they now know that there are people out there who care about them, so they should also start caring about themselves.”

Christian and Muslim faith leaders demonstrated their ongoing commitment to building interreligious harmony and peace in Nigeria following the inaugural meeting of the Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee on September 28. This groundbreaking outcome of the grassroots One Family under God Campaign initiated by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria to end violence in Kaduna State’s diverse religious climate is creating a model of interfaith peacebuilding.

The committee’s latest meeting on October 26 established new subcommittees for Quick Response, Emergency Relief and Research and Investigation and implemented a one-day Capacity Building Workshop for 160 stakeholders in Kaninkon Chiefdom of Southern Kaduna for the One Family under God Campaign. Participants included 40 women leaders, 40 youth leaders, 40 clerics and 40 traditional rulers and elders. During the workshop, breakout discussion groups selected a representative, eight Muslims and eight Christians for a total of sixteen leaders who will drive the process going forward in Kaninkon in the implementation of the ongoing peacebuilding programs.

Left: Rev. Hayab and Sheik Maraya address leaders at Capacity Building workshop in S. Kaduna
Top Right: GPF Nigeria Director John Oko with S. Kaduna faith leaders
Bottom Right: Christian and Muslim community leaders dialogue at interfaith workshop in Kaduna

The powerful duo, Reverend Joseph Hayab and Sheik Abdulahi Maraya, popularly known as the Kaduna twins, are co-moderators in the campaign and provided guidance on the kind of inter-dependent and mutually beneficial relationships that existed between the Natives and Fulanis in Southern Kaduna in the past. Rev. Hayab expressed that once a community embodies a culture of service wherein members regardless of their differences unite to envision, plan and carry out community service projects that benefit all, it will strengthen community bonding and promote peaceful coexistence.

“We are very hopeful judging from the way events have unfolded that this chiefdom is on the right path towards achieving sustainable peace because you have accepted to forgive one another, you have accepted to visit one another, you have accepted to help one another and you have also accepted to pay no attention to rumors,” said Sheik Maraya, “By the Grace of God, we are hopeful there won’t be such crises again that will lead to loss of lives and properties.”

Rev. Hayab speaks to leaders at the Kaduna workshop
Rev. Hayab greets Muslim and Christian leaders to interfaith workshop

Elder Abokie Galadima, Former Chief of Staff to late Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna, expressed his gratitude for the program saying, “If not for the continuous work of Global Peace Foundation in this Chiefdom, the people would have already given up. The people are now aware that they are not alone, they now know that there are people out there who care about them, so they should also start caring about themselves.”

Ongoing peacebuilding efforts mediated by the One Family under God Campaign will include further capacity building workshops, interfaith forums, community dialogue meetings and peace festivals.

Read more about the latest Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee on Vanguard and The Advocate and find out how you can help make a difference today.

Your contribution will support programs like the One Family under God campaign working to promote interfaith dialogue and bring lasting peace to regions like Kaduna State in Nigeria.