As part of this year’s Christmas celebration amidst the high inflation, rising food prices across the country, a Muslim woman, Ramatu Tijjani, has again distributed foodstuffs, wrappers and cash gifts to many Christian widows.
According to her, she is targeting over 200 widows, saying that this is part of efforts to boost peaceful coexistence among the different faiths.
She said the gifts are aimed at putting a beautiful smile on their faces so as to take care of their orphans and to enable widows celebrate the season with joy and happiness like any other Christians around the world.
Ms Tijjani made the donations at the Church of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry, Sabon Tasha, on Sunday in Kaduna .
According to her, the donations stemmed from her passion and need to impact the lives of underprivileged widows who have gone through so much pain and discrimination and might have lost hope.
She said for the past 10 years, she has been donating bags of grains, wrappers and other beverages to Christian widows and orphans during Christmas, and Easter celebrations with the aims of strengthening Christians and Muslims relationship in the north.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Christian women called Tijjani “Mama” because of her outstanding kindness and good relationship that she has built with them in strengthening Christian and Muslims relationship in the state and the country at large.
She said “one thing we should always remember is that we are created by One God and Adam and Eve were our original biological parents, and we all have holy books that guide us on ways to live in peace and harmony.
She stressed the need to assist the widows and orphans during a season like this, irrespective of their tribe, culture, regions, language and historical background.
Ms Tijjani said “Christmas provides the Golden opportunity for Muslims to demonstrate to their Christian neighbours that Islam is a faith of peace, love and tolerance.
“I want to see widows, orphans and elderly person at yuletide season smiling and enjoying themselves like any other Christian family during a festive season like this.”
She added that more wrappers and foodstuff will also be shared to other churches in Kaduna and other neighbouring states with the aims of making widows smile during the festive season with their orphans.
Ms Tijjani pointed that the gesture was her own way of enthroning peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance among different faith organisations in the country.
“I want to assure you that, with the support from almighty God, I enjoyed supporting underprivileged widows to have a positive outlook on life despite the problems they experience by losing their loved one, mostly the breadwinner of the family.
“We are one family under God, and we all believed in paradise and hell.”
This year’s Christmas season comes amidst high cost of food prices, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism which have affected the entire life of both rural and urban dwellers.
Furthermore, she stressed that for the past 10 years , she usually distribute 10 Christmas trees to many pastors, reverend fathers each year for peace promotions across the north.
She added that many people in the country have started emulating what she is doing to enhance togetherness, peace and unity.
”I enjoy helping widows and elderly persons and their families at all times and it is my hope to see other people emulating me in helping the poor and other needy person as seasons like this approach,” she said.
Responding, the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Yohanna Buru, who is equally an interfaith specialist in Nigeria and the winner of United Nations world international interfaith week and harmony 2023, expressed satisfaction with Tijjani’s gesture and called on wealthy individuals to be assisting the needy during a season of the birth of the Holy Christ and beyond.
The Christian clergy added that the church cannot forget the donation of the 50 bibles by Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani which is to enable Christians study their bible very well.
Mr Buru said three years ago, the philanthropist distributed foodstuff to the widows for the Christmas and the Lenten season.
He used to bail Christians at prisons with minor offences for the sole purpose of joining their friends, relatives and families in celebrating Christmas and Easter.
He called on Muslims and Christians to always live together in peace and harmony while appealing to marketers to offer Christmas bonanza like it was done in developed countries.