Message from President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Global Peace Foundation
November 7, 2013
Global Peace Leadership Conference
November 7-9, 2013
Abuja, Nigeria
Theme: “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Building Sustainable Peace for a Prosperous Future” 

Message from His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,delivered by Venerable Onwuzurumba, Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa, on the occasion of the Global Peace Leadership Conference.

Venerable Onwuzurumba

Venerable Onwuzurumba, Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa delivered the message on behalf of H.E. Dr. Goodluck, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here today in your midst on this occasion of the Global Peace Leadership Conference and Global Peace Festival. On behalf of the Government and the People of Nigeria, I welcome you all to our great country, Nigeria. Not only are we happy to host you, we are trusting that you will enjoy your stay in Abuja, our beautiful federal capital city.

The peace festival and leadership conference I understand provides a forum for some Africa’s leading statesmen, current and past Heads of State, Parliamentarians, Religious Leaders, Scholars, Prominent business moguls, Youth and Service Leaders to advance opportunities for peace and youth development. It also promotes programmes that contribute to reconciliation, harmonious co~existence and cooperation among the peoples of the world.

The Government and People of Nigeria identify with you on this noble calling and commend the promoters for their efforts towards the promotion of peace in our world. We need not remind you that as a symbol of our identification with your mission, Nigeria was ably represented by a cabinet minister during your 2010 convention in Kenya. I therefore urge you to keep up the good Work.

The theme of this Conference, One Family Under God, is not only apt but could not have come at a more auspicious time as now when many parts of our global community have come under the threat of sectarian violence oftentimes waged in the name of God by extremist elements.

In Africa, perhaps except for the southern Africa region, the remaining parts of the continent, from the North, Central, East and to the West, are currently convulsing from one form of sectarian violence or the other. Our dear country Nigeria has recently come under the attack of this vicious virus. Your focus on the youth is therefore noteworthy considering that the foot soldiers of this destructive extremism are usually recruited from among the World’s teeming youth population, who are oftentimes unfortunately deceived into believing that they are lighting for God.

Indeed, as elsewhere, the Nigerian youth have also been the targets of recruitment of this virulent campaign.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace for humankind remains the core tenet of all known world religions. Therefore, any teaching today that propagates the lie that wanton disregard and destruction of God-given precious human lives, property and what have you in the name of this same one and only God and for whatever reason is a negation of what such teaching claims to represent. This is why all of us including those who in one way or the other are in leadership positions of the congregations of our various religions should rally not only against the distortion and misrepresentation of the true and sacred teachings of our great religious faiths but also the very minute population behind the unfortunate distortion and misrepresentation. This is a sacred duty we collectively owe not just to the religious faiths we profess, but most importantly to the Almighty God to whom we all strive to return to someday.

In our dear country Nigeria, incessant ethno-religious crises which punctuated our sociopolitical landscape led to the establishment in 1999 of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, (NIREC), which is co-chaired by the leadership of the country’s two major religions of Christianity and Islam. Although a voluntary and independent association, the government appreciating the critical value of inter-religious dialogue sees NIREC as a veritable platform to promote greater interaction and understanding among the leadership and their followers as well as lay foundations for sustainable peace and religious harmony in Nigeria.

Successive administrations in this country have continued with the policy of support to the body. This administration is not left out of this important national necessity. Because of the vulnerability of our youth to the manipulations of devious elements, Government continues to support the NIREC in its several initiatives, including its youth training programme, aimed at fostering mutual co-existence, religious harmony and inter-faith dialogue among Nigerians.

The Government also supports several Non-Governmental Organizations, (NGOs) which share these noble ideals. Recently, my administration has taken further steps towards creating mutual understanding among our two major religious groups, Islam and Christianity, by appointing two Senior Special Assistants, on Christian Religious Affairs and Islamic Religious Affairs respectively. While Government takes cognizance that Nigeria is a secular state, the appointments aimed at facilitating an interface with the faithful, is a bold attempt to prove government interest in the spiritual life of the people and also get the citizenry lend its support to Government in dousing the embers of extremism and sectarian strife.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Other than these efforts, Government in order to providing opportunities for our youth population has put in place the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme,  otherwise known as SURE-P. The Community Service, Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (CSWYP) component of the SURE-P aims at tackling youth unemployment by creating temporary employment for 10,000 youth in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. The jobs are designed to be created in labour-intensive community developmental services. Beneficiaries of the CSWYP programme are being trained in some basic skills and supplied with working tools and equipment as appropriate. They also receive payments based on the amount of work done.

Follow Us

Take Action

Create a positive and impactful change in your area today.

Recent Posts

Related Articles