Ending a Cycle of Violence in Nigeria: Religious Leaders Engage in Peacebuilding Efforts

Naomi MacMurdie
July 17, 2020

July 16, 2020, NIGERIA—Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria, in her efforts to enhance peace and foster unity and security in the Kajuru Local Government area reached out to faith leaders —both Muslim and Christian clergies—to organize a meeting between the groups to discuss peacebuilding among their communities.

The Country Director of GPF Nigeria, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, after a brief reminder and sensitization of the participants on the risks and preventive measures of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressed that faith leaders have a very strategic position in society and so play a crucial role in communicating a message of peace and sustaining it within their communities.

In his remarks, the Northern Coordinator, Sheikh Halliru Maraya, after his condolence message to the participants over the recent attacks that took both lives and properties re-emphasized the need for peace as a compelling necessity for all to keep observing the preventive measures of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the advice of medical practitioners with a view to curtailing the spread or contracting the virus which has taken the lives of many Nigerians. He advised faith leaders not to live in denial of the virus and appealed to them to preach a message of love and togetherness in their various places of worship.

Nigeria peacebuilding leaders

One of the participants suggested that faith leaders should share the “Information Education and Communications” (IEC) materials to more women and youth during the outreach because of their strategic importance in the society. Participants were advised not to relent in their efforts to promote peace and to encourage community effort rather than depending on the government alone to intervene in the crisis.

The Country Director further stressed that peacebuilding and preaching are interwoven and should be a continuous activity. He reminded them that faith leaders do not tire of preaching every week in their places of worship. Likewise, they should not be tired of preaching peace always. He tasked them to take the peace message to their places of worship and also help distribute the IEC materials produced for outreach.

In their separate remarks, Christian and Muslim faith leaders agreed to be more committed to achieving the course of unity and brotherhood within the Kajuru Local Government Area.

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