…Marks UN Day for Victims with donation to IDPs
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: International Dialogue Forum for Peace, IDFP, today, assured that it was working with other like-minded humanitarian organisations to prevent reoccurrence of religion-based violence in Nigeria.
The IDFP gave the assurance at the occasion of the donation of relief materials to two Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps on Thursday in Abuja as parts of activities to make “UN International Day for victims of violence based on religion and other beliefs.
The materials were donated to Malaysia Garden IDPs Camp-Apo, and New Chuchigoro Games Village Camp, respectively, in Abuja.
Speaking at the events, the Co-Secretary of IDFP, Alhaji Ibrahim Yahya, however, called on the government to intensify security response and ensure prompt prosecution of persons found capable in acts of violence against others.
Due to an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people belonging to religious minorities in recent years, UN General Assembly in 2018 adopted a resolution proclaiming Aug 22 to commemorate the victims of violence based on region or belief.
Yahya said that the gesture for the maiden celebration of the UN Day celebrated on Every Aug. 22, was
necessary to amplify the need for a response to the plight of the victims who were often forgotten.
He called on government and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) for an urgent response to the plight of IDPs for rehabilitation and resettlement.
According to him, “The IDFP stands in solidarity with all victims of violence especially those perpetrated in the name of religion and encourages all religious adherent to seek the truth, peace and justice as enshrined in the teachings of the Holy Books
“The IDPs reiterates the importance of living in peace and shared humanity by seeking non-violence means of resolving conflicts.
“IDFP also wishes to encourage all religious adherents to respect the rule of law and fundamental rights to freedom of worship and religious participation.”
Yahya said, “For love and tolerance among Nigerians the IDFP is working with other like-minded humanitarian organisations to prevent reoccurrence of religion-based violence in Nigeria.
He added the root cause of this violence we believe is lack of mutual love, lack of mutual compassion and lack of mutual understanding.
“IDFP is fighting tooth and nail to ensure that we are able to engender peace and peaceful co-existence in our societies.’’
The Co-Chairman, Central Coordinator, IDFP, Mr Mohammed Jameel, said the essence of the donation was to commensurate with the IDPs.
“We have come to commiserate, empathise with them and to show them that we are with them and that we are craving for peace in this country and we will continue to support them,’’ Jameel said.
He called on religious leaders to always preach and do the right thing in order to promote peace.
Mr Mohammed Joshua, the Co-Secretary of IDFP urged religious leaders to continue to assist and provide relive materials to victims of crisis with the belief that such would not necessarily make them change religion.
Joshua said that would rather make them know that God is in every situation adding that it would also help to douse the tension in their hearts.
Materials donated include some bags of rice and maize, a cartoon of noodles, toiletries, provision and soft drinks and bottled waters.
Mr Chakule Lawal, Chairman of IDP Camps, Malaysia Garden, Apo, receiving the items commended the forum for donation, saying it was gladdening to see both Christian and Islamic coming together to see to the problem of a displaced person.
“We are very happy, we are grateful and we pray that very soon the issue of violence and insecurity in the country would be a thing of the past.’’
Lawal, while they appreciated the donated items, their wish was to return to their homeland, saying there is no place like home.