Supporting Leaders: Nigeria

Supporting Leaders

Nigeria

Leaders need knowledge and analysis skills to help them negotiate a complex global landscape, particularly in areas of religion and conflict.

We aim to ensure that where there is conflict with religious dimensions, there will be people of influence equipped to understand and engage with it. We provide opportunities for faith leaders to work alongside political and other social leaders.

We provide them with practical skills relating to conflict resolution and peace building, and specifically offer training to faith leaders who are well positioned to impact the outcome of religious conflict. Programme participants put into action practical ideas for engaging with religion in their day-to-day professional lives.

How it Works

Nigeria faces a number of challenges. A major jihadi insurgency has led to widespread outbreaks of violence. In the past there has been post-poll tension and rioting driven by appeals to religious identity and by hate-speech.

We work with religious leaders on university campuses to counter hate-speech and extremist narratives in the run up to, during, and beyond elections. Participants came from the north of the country, including some of the most conflicted states. We provide a safe space in which to reflect, discuss, and develop action plans for working together to counter negative stereotypes, and help build social cohesion. The course focuses on reconciliation and mutual respect, and the core skills needed to communicate this effectively.

The support of GHR Foundation enabled this programme, and we continue to work together.

Impact

Campus religious leaders that participated have been implementing action plans by establishing local groups, engaging with the media, and community action.

They have addressed over 2,500 students and staff at public events, secured thousands of signatures appealing for peaceful elections, recorded appeals for peaceful elections, and been featured on major radio and TV broadcasts with audiences in the millions.