From his teenage years, Nuruddeen Lemu came to the realisation that his calling in life is to address some of the challenges that face our society. Thus, he set himself the task of building institutions and strengthening capacities for knowledge generation, sharing and management.
Nuruddeen, in his capacity as a Trustee and member of the Senior Management Board of the Islamic Education Trust, and a Director of Research and Training at the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria, oversees research coordination and authorship of numerous published works including books, articles, training manuals and internet content. He focuses primarily on countering religious extremism and radicalization, as well as promoting intra-faith and inter-faith understanding. His team develops faith-based critical thinking tools from Islamic jurisprudence and legal theory (“Shari’ah Intelligence”) and alternative/counter arguments and narratives to those of “bridge-burning” religious extremists which are used in the various training courses of the Da’wah Institute (https://dawahinstitute.org and http://navigateislam.com).
The “Train the Trainers Course in Islam and Dialogue” is a flagship inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue capacity-building programme for peaceful coexistence designed by the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria. Through this programme, the institute has reached over 65,000 people from diverse religious organisations in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroun, Niger, Sudan, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Finland, Estonia, Qatar, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The training resources for these courses cover issues related to women’s rights and gender equity, interfaith relations, Shari’ah and Islamic law, Jihad and the concept of peace, violent and non-violent extremism, the Islamic protocols of dissent and conflict transformation, religious minority rights and democracy, comparative religion, and the principles and objectives of Islamic jurisprudence, etc.
He has partnered with, facilitated and/or made presentations for numerous organisations in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Barr Association (National Conference); the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN); the Nasrul-Lahil-l-Fath Society (NASFAT); Gombe State University; Bayero University Kano; Fountain University, Osogbo; IBB University, Lapai, the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP), The Kukah Centre (TKC), the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN); and many others.
In order to create the critical mass of the capacity required to counter religious extremism, break down stereotypes and bigotry (which have given rise to religious intolerance in Nigeria) Nuruddeen serves on the board of several institutions to help in contributing to their strategic direction and focus. Some of these institutions include:
Director, Lotus Capital (Halal Investments) Ltd.; Director, Development Initiative of West Africa (DIWA); Director, ICICE-Al-Noor Academy Ltd.; Director (Board Chariman), Almajiri Child’s Rights Initiative (ACRI); Trustee, KOWA Party; Technical Adviser, The Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Niger State; Member, Advisory Board, New Horizons College, Minna; of the Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN); and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI). He was one of six delegates nominated by the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to represent the Muslim leadership of Nigeria at the last National Conference – CONFAB 2014. He is a member of the Governing Board of the National Issues Forum (NIF), Abuja, Nigeria. He is also on the Advisory Board for the youth-led initiative in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Guide – #YouthWagingPeace – supported by MGIEP, UNESCO and the Australian Government; and has worked with the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect in developing the “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity Crimes.” He is also a Custodian of the Dar al-Andalus Centre and a member of the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva’s (CFG) Steering Committee in Nigeria which both work on the promotion of alternative narratives to the Boko Haram ideology.
Nuruddeen has dedicated part of his schedule to working with young people to develop the physical and intellectual capacity necessary for dynamic leadership. To this end, he has worked in different capacities to support young people as follows: Founder-Member, Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Minna; Member, Watching The Vote (WTV) Working Group for 2019 Nigeria Presidential Elections, Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa); Member, National Awards Committee, Ford Foundation Jubilee Transparency Awards, Nigeria; Chairman, Niger State Taekwondo Association, Ministry of Sports Development; Patron of the Survival Club, New Horizons College, Minna; former Teacher Trainer, the Noor Al-Houda Islamic College, Sydney, Australia.
Nuruddeen works with a network of Islamic faith-based coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that has over 1,000 members. He also partners with Lux Terra Leadership Foundation which also has a network of Christian faith-Based coalition of NGOs. His most recent foray is as the co-convener of the Interfaith Activity and Partnership for Peace (IFAPP), with a simulcast Television and Radio Programme called the “Interfaith Forum” on AIT.
Nuruddeen has engaged in inter-faith bridge-building dialogues in various countries with people of various faiths including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Baha’is. He is, an international speaker who has handled various themes including youth empowerment, education, personal development, leadership, economic empowerment, resource management, human ecology and environment, sustainable development, gender equity, ethics, social justice, family, poverty alleviation, religion, extremism, interfaith relations, etc.
He has presented talks, advised and worked with a number of international organisations, think-tanks and agencies on issues related to religious extremism, inter-faith relations and issues of National concern to Nigeria and the West African region. These include Google Ideas (Summit Against Violent Extremism, Dublin, 2011); The Brookings Institution (US-Islamic World Forum, Doha, 2012); Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Tunis, 2012; the Open Society of West Africa (OSIWA), Washington, 2012; Muslim Minority Leaders Colloquium (MMLC), Paris, 2013; Center for Inter-religious Understanding, Poland and Germany, 2013; The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); UN Office on Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect; King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), and The World Council of Churches, Addis Ababa, 2016; The Cordoba Foundation of Geneva and the Embassy of Switzerland, Abuja, 2016, 2017; The UN, New York, 2017; Office of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS, Dakar), the International Peace Institute (IPI, New York) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland, N’djamena (2017) and Algiers (2018); Global Rights (2018); The UN, Vienna, 2018; World Bank Group’s Fragility Forum, Washington, 2018; UNDP Conference on PVE, Oslo, 2018; UNFPA, Abuja, 2018; ICRC, Geneva, 2018; International Islamic Charitable Organisation (IICO), Nigeria Office; Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), UK; Interactive Dakwa Training (IDT), Malaysia; Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF), Malaysia; Hidayah Centre Foundation, Malaysia; Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMASA); International Peace College South Africa (IPSA), Cape Town; The Carter Center (TCC), Atlanta; Discover Islam, Bahrain; International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Gombak; Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Nigeria Office; the German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin; the German Embassy, Abuja; the US Embassy, Abuja; the British High Commission, Abuja; the Turkish Embassy; the Canadian Embassy, Abuja; Embassy of the European Union, Abuja; the Population Council; etc.
A Fellow of Aspen Leadership Institute (ALI) and the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), Colorado, USA; a Fellow of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), Vienna, Austria, and of the Africa Leadership Initiative of West Africa (ALIWA). He has also completed the international specialized training course for religious conflict mediators and peace practitioners – “Religion and Mediation Course”, Switzerland (2017). Nuruddeen holds an MSc. in Resource Management from Edinburgh University, Scotland, U.K. (1996); a B. Agriculture degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria (1993). He served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC, 1994) on the (“Liberian”) Oru Refugee Camp, Oru-Ijebu, Ogun State and spent two years in Amman-Jordan (1997-98) studying Arabic language. He speaks English, Hausa, Arabic and Nupe.
His favourite past-times are reading, tree-planting, spending time outdoors, and fishing with his family and friends.