Organized by The Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation
On Tuesday 5th February 2019, a one-day Roundtable for Christian and Muslim Leaders took place at the Novel Suite and Resort, Jos, Plateau State on the theme: Support Nigeria Towards Free, Fair and Violence-Free 2019 Elections: What can Religious Leaders do before, during and Post-elections? The Roundtable sought to harness the resources and potentials of religious leaders towards promoting peaceful, credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria in February and March 2019, and beyond.
The imperative of the Roundtable is highlighted against the background of the high tension being witnessed in the build up to the 2019 general elections, largely due to the destructive narratives along ethno-religious fault-lines. Such narratives thrive on years of indoctrination. Beyond indoctrination, some religious leaders have raised tension with predictions of winners and losers of the elections. The tension is further exacerbated by certain unscrupulous political leaders who have been promising to deliver millions of votes to their political parties without regards to the sanctity and/or integrity of the electoral principle on secrecy of votes. Elections are typically easy spark plugs for violence in Nigeria. No nation survives with constant violence as a mark of her Statehood. Therefore, there is need for proactive steps to be taken.
In view of the foregoing, The Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation organized the one-day Roundtable to brainstorm on violence-free elections 2019 and come up with recommendations towards the successful conduct of the 2019 elections and democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
- Stakeholders were drawn from Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, and Lagos States, as well as outside the country including the Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stuart W. Symington who gave the keynote address. Others included: The Archbishop of Jos Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama; Secretary-General of the Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI), Sheikh Dr. Aliyu Khalid; ECWA President, Rev. Stephen Panya Baba, a Theologian, Rev. Prof. Yusuf Turaki, (JETS), an Islamic Scholar Prof. M. T. Yahya (UNiJos), Assoc. Prof Ibrahim Hassan (UniJos), Deputy Chief Imams Mami Kassim Kabir & Hon Ghazali Adams, Prof Danny McCain (UniJos), Archbishop John Daniel Praise (PFN), Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle, CAN National President (Rep. Rev. Dr. Kyenveh Koeleh Saleh, Baptist Convention President, Plateau) Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri, COCIN President (Rep. by Rev. Dr. Amos Mozoh, COCIN, Gen Sec) Rt. Rev. Dr. B A Kwashi, Anglican Bishop of Jos (Rep.), and other eminent religious leaders, media executives, security operatives, and academics. There were 74 people from Kaduna, Abuja, Niger, Benue, Lagos and Plateau in attendance.