6/10/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern)- A group of Muslims visited Christian widows to offer free food, school items and clothing as a symbol of reconciliation in the Northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna. Several of the widows who received these gifts lost their husbands in attacks propagated by Fulani herdsmen, who are Muslim extremist.
Kaduna State is predominantly Muslim, making up 60% of the population and dominating political and economic life in the region. The disparity leaves several Christians resentful as they are seriously marginalized, especially in terms of development and job opportunities. In the recent elections, no Christian obtained any governmental seat in the region. This directly led to intense conflict in the region and in the process, several churches and mosques were burned down, killing many innocent victims.
Religious leaders addressed the gathering to encourage peace and reconciliation between both religious groups in the region. “I urge Muslims and Christians to live in peace and harmony,” pleaded one leader.
At the event, several widows spoke about how the gifts were changing their attitude towards their Muslim neighbors. “I can’t believe they came and visited me,” Judy Ugwu, a mother of four said, “They have given me enough food and clothes. I want to forgive every Muslim who has wronged me in any way.” Continuing on she concluded, “if we continue with this act of kindness then we can heal and forgive each other. There’s nothing impossible before God”.
Nigeria continues to be a volatile region with recent attacks and threats by Boko Haram and Fulani militants. Reconciliation meetings like these offer hope of renewed community within the country, though much is still to be done to produce the impact of this on a larger scale.
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