Only Dialogue Can Resolve Conflicts, Says Onaiyekan

Cardinal John Onaiyekan

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, has said the various crisis bedeviling mankind, including the ones facing Nigeria at the moment, can be settled through roundtable dialogue.

Onaiyekan  made the declaration at the 2018/2019 edition of the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) Fellowship Programme on Interreligious Dialogue and Mediation in Abuja.

He also noted that all that were desirous of peace should not segregate against fellow humans.

“I am sure there are many Nigerians when they hear that the Cardinal Onaiyekan foundation is giving a certificate to a Miyetti Allah secretary, they will say what is happening here.

“Yes! They should ask what is happening here. What is happening here means there is no such thing as an inevitable conflict,” he said.

According to Cardinal Onaiyekan who recently retired from active missionary work, dialogue has proven to be a very potent weapon in resolving conflicts no matter how difficult they may seem.

“Every conflict can be resolved, once you are able to sit down together look at each other face-to-face, you will now realise that every human being is just exactly like you, like your brother, your cousin which is what you have seen. “And I thank God this is happening in an organisation that bears my name. I will be happy to see more and more organisations like this that are set up,” he added

The Cardinal also explained how the centre is being funded saying: “We got the money – the seed money from America, although we raised local funds. My hope is that having proved that this formula is a viable formula, we will be able to reach out to Nigerians to give us the money to do it.

“The DHR foundation as we are told is a family foundation; its just a family that happen to be very rich and decided to spend their money doing good all over the world.

“Haven’t we got many rich families in Nigeria with billions buying houses in Dubai and never once thinking about doing good for the community. It’s a shame. I won’t even talk about government because this is one of the things the government should be supporting.’’

About 35 students made up of 18 Christians and 17 Muslims drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country graduated during the ceremony in Abuja.