A non-governmental organisation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has trained 220 Islamic clerics on peacebuilding and reconciliation between ex-fighters and victims of insurgency in the North East.
The program, “Sulhu Alheri ne”, was unveiled in Maiduguri by the CDD’s Programs Manager in the North East, Mr Steve Amuda, and is aimed at preparing communities to embrace peace and reconciliation processes through the clerics in the North East.
The program, according to Mr Amuda, would help in putting aside differences of the contending parties and embrace peaceful coexistence.
“We have trained a total of 220 Islamic leaders; 80 clerics here in Borno, 70 in Yobe and 70 in Adamawa. These participants will also train others.
“So all we are doing is to ensure there is peace, we need peace in Borno and the northeast without peace there would be no substantial development,” he said.
Prof. Mala Mustapha, a Research Fellow with CDD, described the launching of the manual as part of the CDD’s effort to ensure peacebuilding and reintegration processes.
“The clerics are considered as gatekeepers in their communities. That is why we launched a manual, which will prepare them to go back to their communities to educate their people on the need to embrace an indigenous approach to peacebuilding,” he said.
Participants at the training described the manual as a good foundation for reconciliation that will serve as a guide at individual and community levels that are affected with the insurgency in the North East.
“It was the Ulamaas that suggested to CDD to come up with a manual, which will serve as a guide for both the community and individuals affected by the insurgency,” said Muhammad Gajiram, Chief Imam at the Ramat Polytechnic Mosque.
“So We Ulamaas have worked tirelessly and come out with the manual. And with this development, the reconciliation is visible,” he added.