Organization trains Taraba indigenes on Peace
By Gaius Jeff
The International Center for Interfaith, peace and Harmony (ICIPH) has organized a two day workshop to train Taraba State indigenes on different ways of maintaining peace especially in crises dominated areas of the state.
The two days program which aim at training youths and religious leaders to be peace ambassadors in the state was organized at the famous Shield Hotel, Jalingo last Tuesday under the theme “Interfaith Education, a Panacea for Peaceful Coexistence in Northern Nigeria”.
Addressing our reporters during the training, Mr. Ezekiel Abdullahi, the Director of the Program said the organization was working in collaboration with Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the help of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to train youth within Northern part of Nigeria with the aim of inculcating them with ideas that would go a long way to help curtail some of the crises that we always have in the Northern part of the country.
He said for the meantime, the organization had limited the program within only four states in the Northern part of the country, which are presently experiencing communal or religious conflicts.
He noted that at the end of the training, participants are provided with certain items of their choice including grinding machines, fertilizer and sewing machines, etc, to enable them keep themselves busy and also earn something to keep their body and soul together.
Mr Ezekiel Abdullahi identified Taraba State, Benue State, Kaduna State and Nasarawa state as the four states which are chosen at the initial stage of the programme and are going on with the training simultaneously.
The director also stated that the organization was founded by Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) and the Jana’atul Nazri Islam (JNI) but is based in Kaduna with representatives in each of the States the programme is been carried out.
He noted that apart from the “Youth Vanguard” which is going on in the four states, the organization also runs another programme named “Peace Ambassador” which aims at building the youth towards bringing peace and harmony in our country.
According to him, the ongoing program is targeted at pastors and Imams because they “realized that religion bigotry and religious extremism in Nigeria triggers over 75% of the conflicts that we have in the country”.
He stated that the Imams and the Pastors are the religious leaders who preach and teach their followers who are most times used as foot soldiers as such it was best to give them the necessary orientation so that it would in turn be easy to get the youths.
“Sometimes we target graduates under our peace development programs or educated fellows whom we teach them to be peace ambassadors and we certify them because we have the license and right to do so. We don’t care who the person is, we even prefer people that are not educated”. He added.
Our reporter reported that the occasion drew resource persons from the two prominent Nigeria religions who delivered lectures on how interfaith education will help the participants to understand their own religion which preaches love for one another, tranquility and peaceful coexistence so as to bring peace and harmony in our country.