Two Men Create Bridge over Nigeria's Troubled Waters ; in a Conflict Zone between the Muslim North and the Christian South, Two Former Enemies Find Common Ground and Share a Peacemaking Mission

By Crawley, Mike | The Christian Science Monitor, February 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

Two Men Create Bridge over Nigeria's Troubled Waters ; in a Conflict Zone between the Muslim North and the Christian South, Two Former Enemies Find Common Ground and Share a Peacemaking Mission


Crawley, Mike, The Christian Science Monitor


James Wuye was once a self-described militant Christian youth, and Muhammad Ashafa a radical Muslim activist - unlikely partners in efforts to bring peace to Kaduna, the ground zero of religious conflict in Nigeria.

But instead of battling when violence breaks out, Reverend Wuye, a Pentecostal preacher, and Imam Ashafa, who leads a local mosque, go to the frontlines to try to calm tempers and find solutions.

Some of the worst communal clashes since democracy returned to Nigeria four years ago have taken place in Kaduna. The city marks the ostensible border between the Muslim north and the Christian south and is home to migrants from all over the country. With religion expected to be a key issue when Nigeria holds national elections in April, the flash point of Kaduna is under close watch.

"Kaduna is like dynamite, and everybody is treading carefully, because conflict of any form can have a devastating effect on both communities," says Wuye.

An estimated 2,500 people died in violence triggered when Kaduna state introduced sharia, a strict form of Islamic law, in early 2000.

The city made headlines internationally last November, when protests over a newspaper article linking the prophet Muhammed to the Miss World beauty pageant sparked clashes. But in August 2002, Wuye and Ashafa had persuaded 10 senior religious leaders from each faith in Kaduna to sign a peace declaration that mitigated the Miss World violence, says Judith Asuni, director of Academic Associates PeaceWorks, a think tank and mediation center in Abuja, the capital. "If the peace declaration had not been done before, it would have been a lot worse," she says. "James and Ashafa have done some good work on the ground. They need government to kick in and do its part."

Observers have criticized the Nigerian government for responding to communal conflict by simply sending in the often heavy-handed security forces and not addressing the root causes of the turmoil, such as poverty and joblessness. Asuni herself has been trying to persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to take a more active role in conflict resolution.

Wuye and Ashafa share duties in the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum and the Inter-Faith Mediation Center, organizations they jointly founded to create better understanding between the communities and to mediate when violence occurs. They hold workshops on conflict resolution with vigilante groups and sharia police in Kaduna and nearby states. They've produced a weekly series on local television, quoting passages of the Koran and the Bible showing common ground between Islam and Christianity. They've written a book called "The Pastor and The Imam: Responding to Conflict." And they meet with both sides in simmering disputes to try to prevent violence. If clashes do break out, they rush to the scene to try to quell tensions, at times putting themselves in danger.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Two Men Create Bridge over Nigeria's Troubled Waters ; in a Conflict Zone between the Muslim North and the Christian South, Two Former Enemies Find Common Ground and Share a Peacemaking Mission
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.