A non-governmental organization, Centre for Development and Democracy (CDD), has trained 80 clerics in Borno on de-radicalisation and counter-violence.
Mr Ikponmwosa Omaigiade, Programme Officer of CDD who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Sunday, said the training was to equip the clerics with the knowledge they could use to curtail violent extremism in the country.
“Today we have successfully trained 80 clerics in Borno state as part of the larger programme that aims at training 200 clerics on de-radicalisation and counter insurgency.
“Borno has been one of the states that is seriously affected by Boko Haram insurgency, so the CDD is helping the people of the North East curtail what is happening in their communities.
“We identified those that we need to speak to, who will in turn speak to the larger community; we think religious leaders are important stakeholders in the communities.
“So we trained them in line with the manual that was produced by the CCD and the key issues discussed include ‘Takfir’ (excommunication) and ‘Jihad’ (Holy war), peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims, women status in Islam and the acceptance of non-Islamic political authorities.
Malam Abdullahi Muhammad, a cleric in polo area of Maiduguri, said the workshop was commendable as its promoted peaceful co-existence among Muslims and Christians.
Muhammad lamented that illiteracy, lack of education and ignorance in understanding the religion of Islam, were the main reasons why Boko Haram was able to drag some people into its radical movement.