Top Nigerian Religious Leaders Sign ‘Declaration for a Peaceful and Secure Nigeria’ at International Religious Freedom Summit 2022

WASHINGTON--()--Prominent Nigerian religious and civic leaders addressed the rampant insecurity and religiously targeted violence in Nigeria during the International Religious Freedom Summit 2022 in Washington, D.C., and called for civil society collaborative action as well as international support.

Sessions on June 29 culminated with a “Declaration for a Peaceful and Secure Nigeria,” [] condemning the use of violence and coercion “to spread or hinder political or religious views and identities, or to demean ethnic, regional or tribal affiliations.” Signed by the top Muslim and Christian leaders in Nigeria – H.E. Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto (represented by Prof. Usman Yusuf); and H.E. Rev. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria; as well as the facilitator Bishop Sunday Onuoha, President of Vision Africa - the declaration reaffirms “our firm commitment to cooperation, inclusive dialogue, and concrete action for positive reform.”

“[W]e are gravely concerned that political and government representatives, and sometimes religious representatives as well, have not taken seriously their full duty to promote peace and harmony amongst the people of Nigeria,” the Declaration says. “[A] necessary and ongoing dialogue must be inclusive and open to an expanding number of stakeholders to ensure that all voices are heard and government will be based on mutual consensus and respect, as well as protection of individual rights.”

The Declaration was issued as part of an ongoing Inclusive Security Dialogue process engaging diverse key stakeholders representing the full spectrum of ethnic, religious and other constituencies in Nigeria. Begun last year with the key leadership of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, the Inclusive Security Dialogue is an ongoing initiative with facilitation and support from Global Peace Foundation, Vision Africa, and ADF International.

The International Religious Freedom Summit 2022 is a global convening of international NGOs, religious freedom advocates and activists focused on the increasing threats to freedom of religion, conscience and belief around the world. The IRF Summit 2022 has nearly 70 sponsoring organizations, including Global Peace Foundation which is a convening partner. For more information on the Summit, please visit:

The Global Peace Foundation has worked in Nigeria for more than a decade engaging with local religious, ethnic, tribal and political leaders on initiatives including peacebuilding, financial literacy, security and interfaith dialogues, and COVID-19 relief. Please visit the website for more information on ongoing work in Nigeria:

Founded in 2009, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace building, guided by the vision of One Family under God. GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies.