by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
In an effort towards strengthening peaceful co-existence, better understanding, love and sustaining religious tolerance between Muslims, Christians and other traditional believers in Kaduna state, ahead of this year’s Christmas and New Year celebration amid Corona-virus pandemic, and the return of economic recession in Nigeria, a Muslim woman and peace ambassador, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, had visited the house of Reverend Dr Mobel James Wuye, who is one of the most popular Christian clerics in northern part of Nigeria, with one of the tallest Christmas Trees, with the aim of decorating the clergy’s house, to promote peace and unity among Nigerians.
According to her, Christmas provides an opportunity for Muslims to demonstrate to their Christian neighbours that Islam is a faith of peace and love and tolerance.
Ramatu, who is a specialist in peace and conflict prevention in Nigeria, said her aim “is to boost better understanding among different faith-based organizations and also use the season in spreading the message of love, peace, unity and togetherness between Muslims and Christians across the 36 states of Nigeria.
“I share Christmas Trees and donate food stuffs to Christians every year to strengthen peace and unity between Muslims and Christians during the festivities.
Christmas provides an opportunity for Muslims to strengthen good relationship with their neighbor Christians, and that is why she usually budgets and saves some amount of money to buy food and other materials to share with her friends and families.
“The reason for decorating the Reverend’s house is also to beautify it with Tree and Light, wreaths, stocking, garment, ornament, and the aim is to spread the message of peace and harmony.
“This is the 10th years of sharing Christmas Trees to many Christian leaders in Nigeria and outside the country,” she said.
She added that, every year she used to shared many Christmas Trees to some Christian friends and scholars, including widows and orphanage children, in order to better understand each other and to promote the culture of tolerance and better understanding among different faith-based organizations in the country.
Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani stressed that some years back, ethno-religious political crisis had caused serious damages and set-backs to peace stability in the country; hence the need for both Muslims and Christians to be their brothers’ keepers.
She said every time she entered market to buy Christmas Trees with her hijab, people keep wondering – “What has a Muslim woman got to do with Christmas Trees?” But, she asserted that, sharing and helping people makes her happy every day.
“I observed that the Christmas Tree is very vital to the life of every Christian all over the world, and that is why I bought it to decorate the Reverend’s house, as a sign of promoting unity, togetherness and to wish all Christians worldwide the best of the season and happy New Year in advance,” Mrs Tijjani said.
Hajiya Ramatu, who disclosed that Muslims and Christians are children of Adam and Eve, who believe in One God and have holy books they believe in, urged people to support each other and live in peace and harmony.
She then called on wealthy Christians, Christian Association of Nigeria, and other corporate organizations to always remember to share with the widows and orphans, most especially during festivity like this.
For the past year, she has been donating foodstuffs, new cloths, wrappers for many Christian widows for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Adding that despite the corona-virus pandemic,she is going to visit some internally displaced person and shared foodstuff to some Christian women and orphans in order to enabled them celebrate the season with joy and happiness like every other Christian while celebrate Christmas
While wishing Christians worldwide Merry Christmas, she said, she is going to share some other Christmas Trees to some Christian leaders that are residing in Christian-Muslim communities like Barakallahu, Down-Quarters, Kurmin Mashi, Barnawa, Mando and other communities that promote Christian-Muslim relations to booster peace and unity.
“We must forgive one another to make Nigeria a better place. We must join hands to make Nigeria great and be like how it used to be before,” she noted.
Responding Reverend Dr James Mobel Wuye expressed satisfaction and said he is really happy with the Christmas Gift from Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, adding that, the gift came to him as a shock, as ne never thought that a Muslim woman would bring a Christmas Tree to his house to beautify the home.
He expressed surprise that, this is the first time for him to receive a Christmas Tree from a Muslim woman.
The man of God said, God almighty would surely bless her for the kind gesture and for the humanitarian services she usually does, in order to promote peace and unity in the country.
“My family is really happy with the gift, and I pray that may Almighty God bless her abundantly for choosing to come and beautify this house with Christmas Trees.”
He then called on all Christians all over the world to obey NCDC protocols, which include using face-masks, hand gloves, sanitizers and respecting the principles of social distancing, to avert spreading Corona-virus, while calling on parents to equally monitor the movement of their kids during the festivity.
The man of God ended by calling on Nigerians to equally pray for peace stability in the country, while drawing the attention of Muslims and Christians should be to pray for all Nigerian troops across the country on peace missions.