US Envoy Urges Christians, Muslims to Work for Peace

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David Young

Ejiofor Alike

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Abuja, Mr. David Young, has called on Christians and Muslims in Nigeria to work for peace and love of all Nigerians.

The seasoned diplomat with about 30 years’ experience, has worked on conflict resolution in many countries and has been actively involved in restoring peace in some parts of Nigeria, where he has served for nearly three years.

In a presentation as the guest speaker on “Christian Witness in Diplomacy and Public Service” at an event organised by the Apostles in the Market Place (AiMP) Network in Abuja, Young, who is also a pastor, said international consensus in diplomacy these days is tending towards work for human dignity.

Admitting that his work as a diplomat has given him the opportunity to practice values of his faith, he urged people of all faith to focus on the shared commitment of love and human dignity.

“The great thing about faith is human dignity: love for God and love for others,” he emphasised.

Young who disclosed that he has been to Plateau State a number of times and participated in a peace-building summit there, recalled a good example of love and care for human dignity in the case of Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, an 83-year-old Imam in Plateau State.

He said the Imam risked his life by bravely standing in front of his mosque and home to plead with a rampaging mob to spare the lives of more than 300 persons — mostly Christian farmers — who had taken refuge there.

“His heroic actions saved these lives, and my colleagues and I from our Embassy met with many of these persons, displaced from their homes by horrific violence, but alive nonetheless because this Imam risked his life to save them.”

Speaking at the event, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, expressed appreciation for the subject of love and respect for human dignity raised by the diplomat.

The minister, who like Young, is pastor in public service, said it would be better for the society if more people wearing double hats practice scriptural values in the public space.

He listed some benefits of the diplomat’s presentation as commitment to the higher principle of love, integrity and responsibility for governance.

“There is a desperate need for good example but many people are too involved in personal issues,” he noted.

He agreed with Young that respect for human dignity is a fundamental example of love, but advised that in sharing love, one has to be mindful of integrity.

The AiMP, established in 2003, is a network of Christian professionals and leaders in the marketplace who are committed to making a lasting impact on society.

The vision of the network is to be a strategic vehicle for nation-building across the African Continent through the transformation of the marketplace.

AiMP is committed to the empowerment of change agents and nation builders, who will act as change agents in their marketplace.

Last Tuesday, the network graduated young professionals who had undergone training in the Change Agents Academy.

The academy serves as a catalyst to identify, recruit, equip and deploy change agents into every sphere of society.