KAICIID Fellow Promotes Interfaith Dialogue for Peace and Development in northern Nigeria

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By maryam Diallo

In a one -day dialogue meeting with all stake holders in kaduna state north western Nigeria.

Kaltumi Abdulazeez, a KAICIID Fellow from the African cohort, has engaged critical stakeholders in a dialogue to strengthen peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the state.

She emphasized the importance of moving beyond merely “building harmonious relationships across intercultural and interfaith groups” and urged a shift towards addressing real issues faced by the people, especially in conflict-prone communities.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the commission, Mr. Saleh Momale, described the event as an Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue aimed at promoting community cohesion and resilience.

The primary objective was to convene key stakeholders to assess the impact of conflicts and insecurity on the social well-being and economic development of the people. These discussions would guide interventions by government, civil society, and a wide range of stakeholders to deepen the benefits of peaceful and harmonious relations among diverse religious and ethnic groups.

Momale also highlighted the importance of ensuring cultural cohesion in Kaduna State, emphasizing that this dialogue was part of an ongoing effort to promote understanding and generate ideas that would further enhance peace and social harmony in the state.

He mentioned that participants would contribute ideas and suggestions to address the key drivers of social grievances experienced in previous years.

Regarding the success of the dialogue, Momale noted that it had garnered significant interest and support from the community, leading to an improved understanding and a substantial increase in peaceful coexistence over the past two years.

He further emphasized the role of traditional rulers in the state, acknowledging their respected positions and their potential contributions to conflict resolution.

However, he also recognized the need to enhance their capacity to respond effectively to emerging trends in violent conflicts and criminal activities.

Kaltumi Abdulazeez reiterated that the event’s purpose was to analyze the ongoing crisis in some parts of the state and beyond.

She called upon leaders to fulfill their duties and stressed that the event would culminate in a policy brief that would serve as a recommendation to the state government to prioritize the needs of the people.

Mr. Tahir Umar-Tahir, Director-General of Kaduna State Bureau for Interfaith, reiterated the bureau’s commitment to promoting dialogue and religious harmony. He assured traditional leaders of the bureau’s support in promoting peace in their communities and contributing to the state’s development.

Cornelius Shija, Project Officer SARVE III at ActionAid, highlighted the rising issue of drug addiction in communities across the state and urged action to address this alarming trend. He mentioned that ActionAid was collaborating with the government to tackle this problem.

Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan, a traditional leader (Wamban Jema’a), expressed concern about the proliferation of inadequately trained “religious leaders” who openly preach despite their limited knowledge of their professed religion.

Dr. Micah Shabi, Executive Director of Improvement in Respect to Social Status of Disability, emphasized the importance of communities understanding each other’s differences as a means to move forward.

Similarly, the National President Nigeria Networks and Peace Journalists (NNPJ) ibrahima yakubu who equally  attended expressed delight ,while adding that, such dialogue forum always come out with all the solution affecting peace and stability in the country

He thanked the organisers of the event,

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