As Nigeria goes to the polls on 16 February 2019, fears are growing that interreligious and inter-ethnic tensions could erupt into violence during and after the elections.
In a powerful demonstration of interreligious solidarity, Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace have come together to call on their communities to “exercise restraint, vote wisely knowing that our votes will count.”
“It at all we should fight, let us fight hunger, disease, corruption and poverty,” said HRH Abdulfatah Ementumah in the video statement.
The religious leaders together said that the elections are not a matter of religion, nor should Nigerians vote along religious lines. Instead, they called on their communities and followers to cooperate for a violence-free election and to advocate for peace between all religious and ethnic communities for the sake of all Nigerians.
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace
The religious leaders featured in the video are: Elder Uzoaku Williams, Alh. Ibrahim Yahya, Stella Francis, Apostle Nyeneime Andy, Rev. Peter O. Agogo, HRH Abdulfatah Ementumah, Rev Apostolic Mother Julia Akerele, Imam Fuad Adeyemi, Isa Muhammad Maishanu, Hajiya Amina Omoti and Bishop Dr. Sunda Onuoha.
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace is a Nigerian national interfaith and intercultural dialogue forum made up of representatives of major religions in Nigeria and supports initiatives that promote peaceful coexistence among the different religions and ethnic groups.
KAICIID seeks to support dialogue in Nigeria by establishing dialogue spaces, teaching dialogue skills, and supporting local initiatives that bring communities together. Active dialogue platforms like the IDFP are key in bringing together different religious leaders and communities to prevent conflict and promote mutual respect and peace.