The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide, through its Muslim Television, Ahmadiyya, MTA Africa has honoured Dr John Cardinal Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, with an International Peace Award, at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Ghana recently.
The renowned Catholic Priest, Peace Negotiator and founder, Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace, a non-governmental organisation, in Nigeria, won the prestigious award among other nominees in Africa, as a result of his commitment to peace efforts and initiatives in Nigeria and across the African continent.
It was gathered that Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, gave his blessings to the award which attracted a cash prize of One thousand Pounds Sterling, with a certificate and plaque. Onaiyekan was represented at the award ceremony by Sir Dr. Iftikar Ayas Sahib, (Order of British Empire, OBE) President, Human Rights, United Kingdom.
The award was presented after the first Ahmadiyya Peace Conference in Africa, featuring religious leaders, academic and media representatives across Africa. The Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Dr Mashuud Fasola, led the Nigerian delegation.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community globally organises International Peace Awards in line with its motto: Love for All Hatred for None, in the countries where it is established.
Dr John Cardinal Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, a distinguished Nigerian of great honour and impeccable character, is a Co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-religious Council, NIREC, a government and religious body meant for inter-religious dialogue, charged with responsibility of finding permanent solution to the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria.
MTA Africa Peace Conference Committee noted that Onaiyekan’s style of intervention in religious and communal crisis resolution included religious persuasions, town hall peace meetings between stakeholders and warring leaders across three states, Plateau, Benue and Taraba in North-Central Nigeria.
He holds a PhD degree in Divinity – Sacred Scripture in 1973 and became the Archbishop of Abuja in 1994, President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, 2000 and former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, June 2007 to 2010.