GNRC–Nigeria Transforming Conflict

On 27th October 2017, Sister Agatha Ogochukwu Chikelue, the GNRC coordinator, Nigeria and also the Director of the Interreligious Dialogue at Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace in Abuja, Nigeria, was invited to Africa54, a Voice of America program, to discuss transformative ways to peace building in Nigeria. Over the past few years, Sister Agatha has been vibrant in sensitizing the community at large and particularly women, youth and children on peace and development.

During the TV interview, Sister Agatha explained that as a step towards conflict transformation, the foundation has been working to promote interreligious dialogue by empowering faith leaders with skills to enable them prevent and transform conflicts in their communities. She said that in her work as a faith leader she had learnt that dialogue is the bridge through which the many religious divides in the country could be addressed.

Sister Agatha revealed that their peacebuilding initiative had been well received both by the community and other key stakeholders such as the government and several civil society organizations, which continue to support their work. She also noted that women have been side-lined in various development programs and it was high time they were brought on board and meaningfully engaged.

The GNRC coordinator stated that her work is motivated by the existing conflicts in her country and especially those that are religiously motivated. She condemned the Boko Haram, who use religion to justify their criminal acts, noting that the effects of their acts had not spared anyone, and that it was time for Nigerians to unite against any form of violent extremism.