The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Nigeria has presented a prestigious National Peace Award to the duo of Pastor (Dr.) James Movel Wuye and Imam (Dr.) Muhammad Nurayn Ashafa at the 4th National Peace Award Presentation organized by the Community on 15th June 2019, at the International Conference Center, Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria.
The award presentation which aims at honouring distinguished individuals who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions towards fostering peace in Nigeria and service to humanity is an important segment of this year’s annual National Peace Symposium organized by the Community with the theme: “Religious Tolerance and National Peace: Our Collective Obligation”.
The prestigious awards and certificates were presented to the auspicious awardees by the Amir (National President), Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria, Dr. Mashood Adenrele Fashola, and flanked by Professor Ishaq Oloyede, the JAMB Registrar and Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Nigeria.
While unveiling the distinguished duo awardees, the Naib Amir, North (Deputy National Leader, A.M.J.N., Northern Nigeria), Dr. Y A Habeeb, said, “We are pleased to present two renowned gentlemen, Christian and Muslim scholars, Peace Ambassadors, Community Leaders, and Conflict Resolution Managers, as our Peace Awardees for the 2019 National Peace Symposium”. Adding that, “They are men with great honour and uncommon wealth of experience and learning, religious preaching, propagation, human and society reformation and peacemakers, both in Nigeria and within the international community. They are both recipient of numerous honours and degrees”.
Imam Ashafa was born on 1st October 1960 in Zaria, Zaria LGA, Kaduna State. He is a recipient of numerous educational certificates and degrees which include Interfaith Conflict Resolution, Doctor of Law (Honorary), University of Massachusetts (2013), and Interfaith Conflict Resolution, Doctorate Degree (Honorary), University of Glasgow, 2010, among others. The array of appointments and posts held by Imam Ashafa includes Co-Executive Director, Inter-faith Mediation Centre since 2005, Deputy Chief, Party of Religious and National Co-Existence since 2012 and Chief Imam, Ashafa Central Mosque, Kaduna, since 2001. Among his outstanding peacebuilding efforts and works/papers are: facilitation and co-facilitation of over 900 Workshops/Seminars and Intervention for Students, Religious Leaders, Traditional Leaders, Youth Leaders and Stakeholders; and Interfaith and Inter-cultural Approach to Conflict Management for Senior Executive Course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru – Plateau State, Nigeria.
Pastor Wuye, on the other hand, was born on January 19th, 1960 in Kaduna, Kaduna State. His citation glows with numerous educational certificates and degrees that include M. Th. In Conflict Resolution and Theology, West African College for Christian Mission, Sango-Ota, Nigeria (2007), and Certificate in Gender and Conflict Transformation, The Network University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (2003), among others. His outstanding peacebuilding efforts and works/papers include being a member of National Advisory Committee (Interfaith), The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2008; and has facilitated and co-facilitated over 750 Workshops across Nigeria and internationally since 1997, among others.
In their responses to the presentation of the awards, the duo commended the peace initiative and award by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Nigeria. Pastor Wuye rejoiced for being one of the “few awarded by a people who proclaim love for all; hatred for none.” He, therefore, urges his fellow Nigerians to join in the collective peacebuilding efforts in Nigeria and globally.
To Imam Ashafa, “It’s honourable to be honoured by an organization that has stood the test of time and across the century.” Speaking further, he remarked that “You cannot be a Muslim and at the same time embrace the culture of violence.” Quoting from Quran 25:64 that “The servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth in a dignified manner, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!”, the Imam urged all Nigerians to embrace the culture of peaceful co-existence.
The first three editions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria’s National Peace Award held in the previous years had had the Peace Awards presented to the trio of General Abdulsalami Abubakr, GCFR, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Barrister Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) respectively.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is an international missionary and revivalist Islamic community with millions of members spread across over 200 countries of the world. It is committed to spreading Islamic teaching of the unity of God and the message of peace, love, and service to humanity. It is currently headed by a worldwide Supreme Khalifah of Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba)