Nigeria Interfaith Dialogue Forum adopts constitution at KAICIID conference
The two-day conference organised by the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) came to a close on Thursday 26 January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria with the formal adoption of a draft constitution for the Nigeria Interfaith Dialogue Forum (NIDF) and the inauguration of its elected Executive Secretariat to coordinate the Forum’s activities. The Coordinate to Achieve 2 conference (CtA2) focussed on ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Interreligious Dialogue in Nigeria,’ as a follow-up to the first meeting (CtA1) which took place in Abuja, Nigeria in September 2016. At CtA1, the participants developed an Action Plan to promote dialogue as a prerequisite for peace and development, and lay the ground for the establishment of an interreligious dialogue platform in the country.
The event convened 100 Nigerian religious, traditional, youth and women leaders from across the country in inter- and intra-religious dialogue sessions. The CtA2 participants resolved to work together towards inter- and intra-religious activities to mitigate the ongoing tensions and conflicts in the country through enhanced dialogue.
Speaking at the closing session of the event, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, one of the most prominent religious leaders of the Nigerian Muslim community, expressed his determination to always be a part of these efforts to build peace and dialogue among Nigeria’s religious communities and applauded KAICIID’s support, stating, “I commend KAICIID for its support and other religious leaders who are working hard to achieve peace in our country. All religions preach peace and all Nigerian Muslims are desirous of the peace and stability of our country Nigeria. He tasked the NIDF to commence the process of formal registration and to also reach out to prominent persons who may contribute to achieve the NIDF’s goals, stressing, “I am ever willing to be of support to NIDF and its organs in order to open closed doors.”
Speaking at the formal launching of the NIDF, the Prelate of Methodist Church, Bishop Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche, who represented the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Dr. Samuel Ayokunle, expressed the willingness of Christians to work in harmony with Muslims to achieve peace in the country.
KAICIID’s Head of Delegation, Abderrahman El-Yessa, commended the fruitful interaction demonstrated during the event and called upon the nation’s leaders of all religions to rise up and stave off violence. “The world is watching Nigeria. There are many challenges here, but with the willingness of the religious leaders to work together for peace and dialogue towards a more cohesive society, there is hope. KAICIID will continue to work hand in hand with the Nigerian stakeholders to promote peaceand social cohesion in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.”