There is a fight going on in Nigeria that the mainstream media is underreporting. The conflict is a fight for the country’s control between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. Boko Haram is trying to convince citizens that their extremist religious ideology represents Islam. Despite the efforts of many citizens and the Nigerian government, Boko Haram remains a major threat, intent on instituting an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.
The government of Nigeria's Gombe State is on board with Omnia Leadership to return power through the people to create a pluralistic peace. They need international philanthropy to achieve their goals of community transformation, giving the people the power they need to succeed against this extremist religious ideology, OMNIA is engaged in cooperative training of both Muslim and Christian leaders, working together for positive change.
“We are committed to working with Nigerian leaders to create peace through education,” says OMNIA President Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana. “We are building a powerful group of imams, chiefs, pastors, government leaders and even the victims of violence to restore power through peace and knowledge.”
OMNIA trains leaders in the context of the political, theological, and civic realities on the ground as it works toward a peaceful Nigeria through both education and better economic opportunities. The objective of the training is to teach people to be authentic in their love of God and each other. Collaborative peacemaking is the only path that will reduce the recruiting power of the Boko Haram, who has already displaced 2.6 million people. Boko Haram has already recruited over 15,000 new members since 2009.
The fight against the Boko Haram is critically important. Two hundred seventy six girls were kidnapped at the Government Secondary School in April 2014. Since then, 191 girls have been released, including 82 girls. Omnia’s leader in Nigeria, Rev. Abare Kallah was instrumental in helping to facilitate their release. One released girl told of the horrific conditions that had killed six of the girls. The remaining 79 girls are still being held captive by this extremist group. Kallah knows the danger of the mission, but his faith and desire to “see these parents...get their daughters out of this camp” sustains him.
Power through the people can help create a brighter future for Nigeria, but international philanthropy can help immensely. The Nigerian citizens involved with Omnia Leadership are eager to bring about community transformation. They are working diligently to bring a peaceful transformation to the country.
Our team is still working on the ground everyday in Nigeria as there is still much to accomplish. To learn more about Omnia Leadership and how you can be involved, read about our mission in detail here.