The seventh Dialogue and Peace Iftar Dinner and Awards Ceremony, was held recently at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
The annual event was organised by Ufuk Dialogue, which was founded in FCT, Abuja for the purpose of promoting dialogue, culture of co-existence, mutual understanding and to establish a common interfaith, intercultural and intellectual platform aimed at providing information and opinion exchange.
The event was also organised to confer awards on some exceptional personalities in Nigeria for their wonderful effort and support in developing a peaceful society.
While speaking at the event, the president of Ufuk Dialogue, Kamil Kemanci, said that Ufuk Dialogue serves to stand by societal peace, love, respect and compassion in support of human dignity and the greater good by striving to preserve the common values of humanity: values such as respect, tolerance, peace and mutual understanding.
“Ufuk Dialogue also organises conferences with the theme, ” Countering Violent Extremism Through Love and Tolerance,” which brings people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds around the sane table.
“Today, we need dialogue and peace more than we need food and shelter. Dialogue and peaceful coexistence have always been and still remain a need, a must for us to have a healthy and more productive society.”
According to Kemanci, “In dialogue, it is possible to transform conflict into cooperation.”
Some of the dignitaries conferred with awards were, Awardees for the 7th Dialogue and Peace awards are;
1. Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2. His Eminence, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, President, Christian Association of Nigeria
3. Sheikh Shariff Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussaini, CON, Chairman, Fatwa Committee Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Cahirman, Assembly of Muslims in Nigeria.
4. Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma, Chairman, Pastoral Agents Catholic Bishop’s Conference
5. Professor Amidu SANNI, Vice Chancellor Fountain University, Osogbo-OSUN STATE
6. Fr. Prof. Hycianth Eme Ichoku, Vice Chancellor Veritas University
7. Prof. Ibrahim Muhammad Ahmad, Bayero University Kano
8. Mrs Pauline Dame Tallen, OFR, Board Member, National Agency for The Control of AIDS
9. Festus Keyamo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and International Arbitrator
10. Apostle (Prof.) Alexandre Bamgbola, Chairman Lagos State Christian Association of Nigeria.
11. Rt. Honourable Mudashir Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly.
12. Nigerian Inter Religious Council (NIREC)
One of the awardees, Dame Pauline Tallen, while commending the Ufuk Dialogue, organisers of the event and dedicating the award to all Nigerians said, “My prayer is that God will make all the efforts of Ufuk Dialogue in establishing peace and love among us to be successful.
“Whether we’re of the Christian or Muslim faith or any other, we’re all children of God and therefore, we need to learn to live in peace with one another.”
Also, the speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, represented by Eng Misbau Opeyemi Aminu emphasised that, “When talking about peace, then we’re talking about trust, economic prosperity and good education. And that is exactly what Ufuk Dialogue is focused on achieving, which is quite commendable.”
Some of the dignitaries present at the event were, senior special adviser to the president on Diaspora Matters,
Special Assistant to Mr. President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa; Mr Femi Falana SAN, Apostle Alexander Oyewole Bamgbola, Amb Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Mrs. Olufolake Abdulrazaq, Wife of the governor-elect of Kwara State and several others.
Others are Ambassador Joanna Tarnawska, Ambassador of Poland, Charge d’ Affaires, Republic of Ecuador, Jaime T. Campas, Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh, Ph. D Ambassador Extraordinary Republic of Liberia, AVM (Ret) Dr. H. Usra Hendra Harahap, Ambassador Republic of Indonesia,