By Perpetua Onuegbu/Ahmed Abba
Abuja – The Muslim Christian Peace Forum (MCPF) an NGO, said on Friday that no meaningful progress can be achieved without people living in peace.
Mr James Pam, Chairman of the forum said this when the group presented Mr Bappayo Samanja, Director, Field Service Technology Department, Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) with “Icon of Peace Promoter Award” in Abuja.
According to him, it is only when people live together in peace that meaningful development can take place, anywhere there is crisis and turbulence you will always find poverty and lack.
He said the MCPF was an association comprising of Christians and Muslims, who had decided to come together in order to promote peace in Nigeria.
According to him, the organisation appreciates and complements the efforts of those trying to promote peace in the country.
Pam said five people were actually nominated for the award but Samanja came out tops on the list because of his immense contributions to the promotion of peace beginning from his community in Gombe.
“ He has contributed his quota to the development of peace in his own community in Gombe.
“And we found out that even in his organisation where he works, he does not take sides, when people have misunderstandings he listens to them carefully before passing judgment.
“As they say, `charity begins at home’ back home where he came from, we realised that he has been giving his best to the youths and to the development of peace, reason we are here today.
“Our aim and objective is to promote peace and we believe that youths are the mechanism to be used in promoting peace in all parts of the world.
“We are out to complement and appreciate people who even within their meager resources are doing their best to promote peace.
“No society can develop without peace and I gave instances of some states presently having difficulties because of lack of peace stemming from herdsmen and farmers crisis, states like Plateau, Kaduna and Benue,’’ the chairman said.
Pam advised the people to see themselves first as humans before religious or ethnic groups, like Martin Luter King Jnr once said before religion there was humanity.
“After all it is a matter of choice I can be a Christian today and tomorrow decide to be a Muslim and vice-versa,’’ he said.
Mr Bappayo Samanja, in his acceptance speech, thanked the group and congratulated them for forming such a group at this time that the country was in dire need of peace.
Samanja said that people that are creating crisis in the country are not patriotic and are benefiting from doing so.
“All of us in Nigeria must fight toward eradicating religious and tribal differences and come together to make Nigeria great and one.
“The youths have that responsibility because they are the leaders of tomorrow and if they grow with this notion in mind, that Nigeria is one indivisible country, definitely Nigeria will be a good place for all.’’ Samanja said.
NAN reports that Samanja had received other notable awards for his contributions to humanity and as a philanthropist.
NAN reports that CMPF was established on June 15, 2014, with its headquarter in Delta state and has offices in the 36 states of the Federation.
Its major objective is to promote peace, moral values, knowledge and developing the attitudinal skills and behavior that encourages living in harmony with other neighbours.
NAN also reports that MCPF incorporate many Nigerian youths across the six geo-political zones irrespective of their tribe, religion, sex and any other discriminating factors. (NAN)