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Groups canvass importance of humanity to religion

Preaching humanity, instead of religion, was the focus of discussion held recently to mark the World Humanitarian Organisation Day. The event was organised by different non governmental organisations in Lagos State, in conjunction with the African Union and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Lagos.

The event witnessed different guest speakers, imploring different sectors of Nigeria to embrace humanity. One of such speakers was Chaplain James Mercy Obatunmide, the President of the World Humanitarian OrganisationforPeaceandEquity(WHOPE).

While urging all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of humanity, rather than religion, he added that the solution to different problems bedevilling Nigeria as a county and the world as a whole is that most people leave ringworms to treat craw-craw. In other words, people focus more on religion, than on the importance of humanity.

Obatunmide said: “Life is meant to be shared, and love is the only thing that can solve the problem of this world. When you find out that you have love in your heart, you’ll not think evil against your fellow human being.” According to him, although he is from the northern part of Nigeria, he, however, strongly believes in humanity and one nation. He stressed that there was no difference between a Muslim and Christian. He explained that his growing days and the life he met then exemplifies the subject matter. He added: “In those days, when it’s time for the Salah celebration, you’ll see us celebrating and eating together.

When it’s time for Christmas, you’ll see us eating and celebrating with Muslims. Today, however, the reverse is the case. You cannot walk to a Muslim or Christian dominated areas. Why have we gone that way? What happens to every one of us living in peace and harmony? It means some people came and saw the love going on in this country, and decided to plant evil in the hearts of some people.” Barrister Efe Anaughe, a multiple award winning humanitarian activist, speaking on the need to promote humanity in the Nigerian society regardless of one’s financial status, said: “Like I always say, there’s no one that has not spent their personal money to help someone before.

We have done sacrificially without complaining, which makes me proud and hope we are recognised and appreciated. There’s nothing as wonderful and amazing as that. Also, I want to encourage everyone to support one another, as we can in any possible way. It’s not always about money, sometimes it’s about giving little things. I have always said that I’d like to die empty and it means I’d like to give all I can give to humanity. The humanitarian movement is about helping the needy and to partner in helping each other. I appreciate our amiable President James for giving us the privilege and recognising our non-governmental organisation and civil society organisations.” Obatunmide said: “We are here today to celebrate NGOs and CSOs consortium associations of humanitarianism. We also want to applaud organisations that we know are doing well in their various groups.

Concerning humanitarianism; there are a lot of people we have empowered through professional trainees and capacity building. We have a kitchen where we train women on how to become empowered.” Obatunmide further added: “You must have been hearing about humanitarianism; I’m the President of the Lagos State Institute of Humanitarian Studies and Social Development. In WHOPE, we don’t just appoint anyone to our system.” Mrs. Franca Eze, a cancer survivor, who is also the owner of, ‘My body, My Assets Cancer Foundation,’ said her foundation was basically for humanitarian services. She said: “I’m a cancer survivor, and I know what it takes to suffer, and not be able to access help. After I survived cancer, I had a child, and he’s in a nursery school now.

Basically, what we do is to create awareness, screening, counselling and infection education and community service. The organisation is mainly for women and adult girls. We teach them sex education and the implications of having multiple sex partners. We also encouraged them to stay with one sex partner. Sometimes, churches invite us when they notice some people need help and they actually support us. We go to places where they’ve talked about us and people are referred to us.

More than 85 percent of women suffer from different types of infection, which make people line up and ask questions, and in the mode of answering; we teach them what they call toilet infection, which can be more serious than people think. Most times, people think we’re doing it because we are Christians, but we do it for the sake of humanity.” Miss. Nneka Amala, volunteer at Fashion are Made for Excellence Foundation, an NGO based in Ibadan, said: “What we are into, is we recognise that there is a leadership deficit in Nigeria, and Africa at large, so what we do is we teach leadership education in school.

This is because we believe that people cannot believe what leadership means but to understand what it means and entails. We teach leadership skills and life coaching skills. We also have programmes for students in university. We also bring children from the street and empower them. We teach them leadership education on how they can be useful to their community.”




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