The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, (IPCR), has called on Nigerians to embrace the core values of unity by upholding the spirit of tolerance and accommodating divergent views.
The Director-General of the Institute which is designated under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, Dr Bakut Bakut, made the call yesterday, in Awka, the Anambra state capital, during a Peace Day Conference, organized by South East Zonal Peacebuilding Office in commemoration of the 2020 International Peace Day.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the United Nations General Assembly declared 21st September each year as International Day of Peace, set aside to promote and strengthen the ideals of peace among countries and peoples of the world by observing 24hours of non-violence and cease-fire where violence, conflict or war exist and to also campaign against violence globally among other peace promotion initiatives.
Dr Bakut represented by the Head, Gender, Peace and Security, Mrs Grace Awodu, said that peace remains the only index for sustainable growth and development in Nigeria, assuring that the Institute would continue to convene nationwide peace programs, calling on Nigerians to key into peace advocacy initiatives of the federal government.
Welcoming the IPCR team to Anambra State, the Governor of the state, Willie Obiano, represented by the Clerk of Anambra State House of Assembly, Honorable Pius Odoh, stated that the state government places immense value on building sustainable development which, according to him, is the reason for government’s focus on securing the lives and property of the residents of the state and called for increased awareness on the importance of peace in achieving sustainable growth especially in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
In their paper presentations which focused on the topic “building and shaping peace together amidst COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria’s Southeast”, the South East Head, Peace Building, IPCR, Mrs Amaka Uzodinma and President Igbo Peace Studies Association, Professor Austin Onuorah, maintained that there was an urgent need for proactive steps in the pursuit of peace by all and sundry.
The Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder’s Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) South-East zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, who also speak on the significance of the day during the event, said all people of goodwill should deploy the privilege of International Peace Day to reappraise their commitment to instituting a peaceful social environment that will facilitate healthy interactions amongst people.
*The realization that peace is a win-win situation where all the parties are beneficiaries and no one is a loser ought to awaken our leaders and instruct them to propagate ideas and opinions that will duly guide those under their leadership to think peace and act only in manners that propel peace to our communities, our states and nation.
Siddiki, observe that the root causes of friction and breach of peace amongst people, particularly among peoples of different ethnoreligious cultures are found in the often deliberate misinformation of the masses by their political leaders whose selfish interests lead to arousing spurious suspicions against their political opponents in the other divide. Leaders like this take advantage of our largely illiterate population to harm the system for their fleeting gains, to the detriment of our society.
On a day like this, therefore, it is very important that our leaders are called to question the need for sincerity in providing sustainable leadership to the people.
It is, therefore, a privilege for me to lend my voice to the pool of voices across the globe calling for genuine understanding amongst the peoples of the world with the sole aim of engendering peace and growing humanity beyond selfish thrust that undermines our collective quest for peace, Siddiki stated.
The Anambra State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Dr John Ndubisi, on his part, called for the promotion of peace in all areas of the society and providing quality justice to all, as well as building accountability, equity and fairness in the affairs of the nation.