By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Muslim woman, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, on Sunday donated wrappers and food items to some widows in Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry in Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State for Christmas celebration.
She said the gesture is her own effort to strengthen peaceful co-existence among citizens, and also to boost religiou tolerance, forgiveness, love and better understanding among the two faiths in the state.
Quoting from Mother Theresa, “Peace begins with a smile” Hajiya Tijjani said as a peace ambassador, she was at the Church to put smiles on the faces of the widows and orphans for the season, adding that the gesture would also be extended to other churches in the state and neighboring states.
According to her, Christmas provides an opportunity for Muslims to demonstrate to their Christian neighbours that Islam is a faith of peace and love and that is why; “I want to see widows, orphans and senior citizens smile and enjoy themselves this season,” she said.
She disclosed that her target is over 200 widows across the state and some northern states including those at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the North-East.
“I enjoy helping widows, senior citizens and their children and it is my hope that other people emulates me in helping the needy ones this Christmas,” she said.
Tijjani who is also a peace mediator said that a peaceful co-existance between Christians and Muslims is the foundation for sustainable development in Nigeria.
The peace mediator said that irrespective of whether a community is multi-ethnic and multi-religious or it is homogenous, it can achieve peaceful co-existence through a conscious process of social and community engineering using the principles of justice, equity, socio-political and economic inclusion for all.
While commending the effort of Observatoire Pharaoh in France for helping Africans in promoting peace mission, Hajiya Tijjani also appreciated the effort of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung from Germany and United States Institute of Peace for promoting religious tolerance in Africa.
Responding, the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Yohanna Buru, expressed satisfaction and called on wealthy individuals, corporate bodies, Government, NGOs and CSOs to always remember the widows and the needy in the society.
He disclosed that for the past 2 years, Hajiya Tijjani has distributed items to the Church widows for Christmas, adding that earlier in the year during the Lenten period, she donated cartons of beverages and other food items to break the fast.
Pastor Buru admonished wealthy citizens of the state to desist from their extravagant lifestyles, rather always remember the needy, so that they could be blessed by God.
He called on followers of the two faiths to live together in peace and harmony, as well as appealed to business owners regardless of their faiths to offer Christmas bonanza, as developed countries usually do to their citizens.