Few days ago, the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) organised a round table discussion in Abuja. The meeting which was focused on promoting Peace among the Religious groups in the country also converged key stakeholders.
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) is a national interfaith and intercultural dialogue forum that has the peaceful coexistence of adherents of all Government-recognized religions and faith traditions as its central objective. These religions and faith communities may be found in all ethnic groups in Nigeria. IDFP is focused on interfaith activities and inter-religious awareness, dialogue and understanding for the two dominant faiths in Nigeria, namely, Christianity and Islam. It is a forum that is hoisted to discuss, ask questions and arrive at mutual understandings about the beliefs and practices of these faiths.The purpose of the dialogue is to dispel stereotypes, mitigate violence, and create understanding and to enable co-operation and peaceful co-existence whilst maintaining mutual respect among the adherents of the two religions. The major core and stance of IDFP is to achieve peace in Nigeria. Hence, sincerity is the watch word for her interfaith activities.
IDFP was establishment in February, 2016 and was funded and facilitated by the International Dialogue Center (KAICIID), Vienna in partnership and collaboration with Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and Kukah Center.
The need to Engage Interfaith groups on Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is designed to be broadly applicable to Christian and Muslim leaders and their followers. The Code is applicable for Interfaith Community members who are focused on mitigating religious conflicts and seeking to improve national and
local community cohesion, understanding and peaceful coexistence between people of different religious beliefs and creeds in Nigeria.
The Code of conduct will be distribution among schools, churches, mosques and other government recognized institutions.
In the communique signed by Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Alhaji Kunle Sanni Ishaq
Co-Chairman; the key areas that the code of conduct is focusing on are as follows:
- Mutual Respect (Love)
- Truthfulness and Legality
- Ethical Standards
- Human Rights and Dignity
- Transparency and Accountability
- Conflict Resolution Mechanism
- Hate Speech and Blasphemy
- Our Current Reality
- According to them, “We are eye witnesses to the violence that continues to wreak havoc in our country today. We are particularly aware of our increasing vulnerability and that of our family members, the traumatic conditions, cycles of conflict, increased food insecurity. We have also seen increase in the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within our society today.”
“Everyone of us seeks survival in the face of the high insecurity, kidnapping, and banditry that are becoming a common place in the country and which have rendered many hopeless. Clashes arising from religious tensions and intolerance are a growing reality in numerous societies. Waves of violence, displacement, death and destruction due to increase in violent extremism/terrorism, hatred and violations of human rights. What we see today is a more complex challenge that is undermining the peace that we aspire to have in our lifetime and the coming generations.”
“Our Prayers and Aspiration
We believe in the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace in Nigeria in order to achieve lasting peace and stability in Nigeria and to serve as basis for constructive dialogue across multi-cultural and multi-religious groups.
We affirm that the Code of Conduct will help to reflect the unique and critical roles played by religious leaders in influencing values, attitudes, behaviors and actions that affect the development and wellbeing of all in the country.
“We affirm the need to engage with the mainstream media and social media platforms to advocate on the need to make use of the Code of Conduct so as to serve as a tool to forge peaceful understanding among the faith groups in the country.”
“We hope that the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, understanding and cooperation will bring the desired peace we all yearn for in our country. We use this medium to emphasize our commitment to upholding this dignity for sustainable peace in Nigeria.
We are confident that with sincere dialogue among faith groups, it will continue to serve as a means to counter inciting and derogatory statements that fuels the embers of religious hatred.
We denounce all forms of violent, ce, religions extremism and hate speeches that further disintegrate the humanity in us as people of faith and plead for sincere dialogue to uphold the dignity and rights of all people.
We stand united in solidarity with those who suffer neglect and marginalization and call for mutual understanding among all citizens irrespective of culture or religion; as we stand with high hope in solidarity for the survival, protection and development of all in Nigeria.
We do commit ourselves to ensuring that this Code of Conduct is a step in the right direction as expressed in this communiqué and we hope to abide by it as members and will ensure that we replicate same in all our faith groups that we are here representing today.”