Sr. Agatha Chikelue
CWFL 2015-16 Nigeria Fellow
Rev. Sr. Agatha Ogochukwu Chikelue is a Nigerian Catholic Nun from the Congregation of Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM). She is from the Eastern part of Nigeria and an Ibo by tribe. Sr. Agatha is a native of Awkuzu in Oyi Local government Area of Anambra State though she was born and brought up in Aba Abia State also in the Eastern Nigeria.
Sr. Agatha currently lives and works in Northern Nigeria-Abuja under the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja. She has served here for over 17 years. As the first daughter and second child of her parents (Chief Donald Obi and Mrs. Gladys Ndirika Chikelue), Sr. Agatha was born on February 25, 1973 into a family of six. Other members of her immediate family include: Basilia Nneka Okafor Nee Chikelue; Florence Chinenye Chukwurah Nee Chikelue, Aloysius Chike Chikelue, Fidelis Obi Chikelue, and Daniel Ndubisi Chikelue.
Sr. Agatha holds a B.Sc. Degree in Public Administration and a M.Sc. in International Affairs and Diplomacy. She is the Director of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja Liaison Office; Secretary of the Interreligious Dialogue Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja; and, Co-Chair of the Women of Faith Peacebuilding Network WOFPN. Her interest in peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue initiative began some years ago as a result of the incessant ethno-religious violence in her home country. Her hunger for inter-ethnic and interreligious harmonious relations at this period manifested through her committed efforts in bridging divides across religious and ethnic lines in Nigeria. Her passion for peaceful coexistence in Nigeria motivated her in building a movement of Christian & Muslim women who will stand up against violence and truly work for peace in Nigeria called Abuja Women of Faith Network . She also co-founded other similar initiatives in Nigeria both at the youth and children levels.
Her experiences after years of peacebuilding work in Nigeria has made her understand that peacebuilding and development are inter-linked but cannot be achieved without justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. It has also shown her that there are gender factors which need to be considered when disputing, negotiating and resolving differences. In all her peace activities in Nigeria, Sr. Agatha has come to realize that interreligious dialogue is the very key towards conflict prevention and management. This is why she strongly believes in a non-violence approach to conflict through dialogue and through actively involving women in all the peace processes.