Institute trains religious leaders in Northeast
To check religious extremism and violence, an interfaith organisation, Omnia Institute for Contextual Leadership has trained religious leaders/ peacemakers in the Northeast. The group has also organised them into 94 Interfaith Peacemaker Teams (IP Teams).
According to its National Coordinator in Nigeria, Rev. Abare Kallah, the teams consist of Imams and pastors.
He said the IP teams had begun training more peacemakers in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where 75 Christian and Muslim leaders were recently trained. This came against the backdrop of successes recorded in Gombe in 2017 when 3,500 persons were trained.
Kallah said: “This collaboration of interfaith leaders has further reduced space for extremist groups, such as Boko Haram and ISWAP, to recruit young residents in the Northeast.
“The IP teams have played significant roles through empowerment, providing an antidote to poverty, as young Nigerians have found a pathway to entrepreneurial opportunities through skills acquisitions as artisans such as tailors, hairdressers, among others.
“Each IP team has 20 religious leaders, including clergy and laymen and women as well as congregation members of over 1000. Their effectiveness and interventions have saved lives and averted extremists’ religious violence…”