By Naomi Yakawich
In what has become a model of social transformation, the One Family under God Campaign started with a small group of Christian and Muslim leaders whose love for each other and their communities countered the violent extremism pervading Southern Kaduna in recent years.
Following a period of violence and destruction between natives and Fulani tribes in 2016, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria began a mediation process in 2017 to negotiate two ceasefire agreements between the local Fulanis and the natives, resulting in a landmark peace agreement. This led the interfaith team to begin a focused engagement in one particular community, Kaninkon, to build a model from which others could similarly learn the process of peacebuilding and reconciliation.
The unique campaign led to the creation of the Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee comprised of 200 key leaders from the community. The General Assembly includes 80 community leaders and stakeholders, 40 faith leaders, 40 women leaders, and 40 youth leaders.
The group also utilizes sub-committees to provide capacity-building workshops, dialogue with security agencies, and community peace summits and festivals.
Comfort Simon, a native from Goska, shared his transformation after participating capacity-building and community empowerment workshop in Kaninkon:
“What happened between us and the Fulani is painful, and I had resolved never again to love or have anything to do with them, because, I lost my home and property completely during the crises. But, the teachings I heard today has given me strength, and now, anywhere I see a Fulani person even if such a person is in trouble, I will be willing to lend a helping hand if I can.”
The Southern Kaduna Peace and Reconciliation Committee has been holding monthly meetings since September 2017 to establish areas of focus and plan activities to foster interfaith collaboration and community bonding.
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