SFCG enlightens stakeholders on Freedom of Religion/Belief in Taraba.

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A cross section of participants at the Training

SFCG enlightens stakeholders on Freedom of Religion/Belief in Taraba.

By Christiana Babayo

A Non Governmental Organization, Search for Common Ground Nigeria, SFCG, has trained stakeholders in Taraba on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Early Warning, Early Response.

The training that took place in Jalingo drew participants from the various Local Governments, focusing on the frontline respondents with the aim to strengthen early warning mechanisms as well as promote structures of freedom of religion in Taraba.

A cross section of Participants at the Training

Mr Daniel Ogabiela, the Project Manager, Promoting and Protecting Freedom of Belief, FORB said the training is aimed at enlightening people on perceptions so as to promote respect for everyone’s belief and by so doing reduce conflicts arising from the religious angles.

He said Search for Common Ground has gotten enormous collaboration from concerned bodies and the project has witnessed success especially with it’s objective of getting people to know their rights with regards to religion and belief.

“The Project Promoting freedom of religion and belief is all enshrined in the Constitution and it’s everybody’s right to practice his or her belief and no one should be killed for that. That is why we are championing this campaign that people should be allowed to practice their religions. So far we have gotten support from religious leaders and I must say their responses are very encouraging. We have the support of the Christian Association of Nigeria,CAN Nigeria Supreme council of Islamic affairs, government agencies and other organizations”

On his part, the National Conflict and Policy Analyst, Search Nigeria, Mr Andy Nkemneme said the training is designed to proffer ways of curbing violent conflicts and also for Conflict observers to be able to identify early warning signs to curb violent conflicts around the state and report them accordingly so that the response agencies will pick the signs and work with it.

He also stated that one of the areas Search for common ground has been working on is the protection of people’s religious beliefs and rights having considered the role religion as in the country.

“We have seen over the years how religion has come an instrument of violence instead of an instrument of peace. People age used religion to create violent conflicts hence the need to intervene and set the tables right so people can know what religion should be to us”. He said.

During the training the facilitators, Dubi Sonam, Solomon Adejoh, Habiba Ghazali and Godwin Okoko and others took turns to explain the core values of Search for Common Ground, various concepts related to the theme of the training especially the Freedom of Religion or Belief and Early Warning Early Response.

As partners in the noble cause, the State Government represented by Hon Charles Maijankai, Special Assistant to the Governor on Security said they are in full support of what the group is advocating for as peace is the bedrock upon which every society thrives.

One of the participants Ambassador Mary Jonathan Tijo who works with the Ministry of e Digital Economy, said the training couldn’t have come at a better time and the Freedom of Religion aspect of the training teaches tolerance as way of living peacefully with one another.

She said Taraba is multicultural but humanity defines everyone hence the training will equip participants with the knowledge that they will pass down to other with regards to peaceful coexistence.

The Search for Common Ground is an international non-governmental organization that is dedicated to peace building by mitigating violent conflicts and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all to thrive. The concluded training is also part of the COMITAS project Phase II, Contributing to the Mitigation of Conflict Over Natural Resources between Farmer and Herder Communities in Adamawa and Taraba states.

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