By Saliu Olanrewaju Lah
The International Day of Peace, observed on September 21st each year, aims at promoting and strengthening actions for peace worldwide. It serves as a reminder for individuals, communities, and nations to strive for peaceful coexistence and resolve conflicts through peaceful means.
One of the key ambitions behind the International Day of Peace is to enhance global peace. This involves engaging in various actions and initiatives that contribute to the promotion of peace within and between nations.
In Nigeria today, violent conflicts such as insurgency, banditry, farmers-herders crises, gang wars, cultism, and separatist agitators have continued to afflict the country.
These issues have led to killings and displacement of Nigerians in their country.
At one of his official engagements recently, the Vice President of Nigeria, Kassim Shettima posited that the Northeast has lost over 9 billion dollars in terms of economy due to the insurgency.
In like manner, in the Northcentral and Northwestern regions of Nigeria, banditry has assumed a dangerous dimension where residents are made to pay taxes to the leaders of this group. They also seek permission before having access to their farmlands.
The Southeastern region of Nigeria is also not left out of these security challenges, apart from the agitation for self-government.
The southeastern states are almost becoming a funeral palace where killings go on unabated daily.
For any country to achieve its full potential, the issue of peaceful coexistence cannot be overemphasized and governments at all levels must prioritize policies and programs that will ensure citizens have the right to live in peace and harmony anywhere they choose to reside.
To achieve global peace,
here are a few crucial actions that can be undertaken to further this ambition:
Promote dialogue and understanding: Encouraging open communication and dialogue among diverse groups is essential for fostering understanding, empathy, and acceptance. By engaging in respectful conversations, we can bridge gaps, overcome differences, and build a culture of peace.
Conflict resolution and mediation: Developing and implementing strategies for conflict resolution is vital in establishing peaceful societies. Promoting mediation processes helps in resolving disputes without resorting to violence and provides opportunities for reconciliation.
Education for peace: Promoting peace education at all levels can help instill values such as tolerance, respect, and empathy in individuals. By teaching conflict resolution skills and promoting intercultural understanding, education plays a crucial role in preventing violence and cultivating peaceful societies.
Social justice and equality: Addressing social, economic, and political inequalities is a fundamental aspect of achieving lasting peace. By advocating for justice, equality, and human rights, we can create a foundation for peaceful coexistence and reduce the likelihood of conflicts arising from marginalization and discrimination.
Sustainable development: Environmental sustainability and peaceful societies go hand in hand. Working towards sustainable development practices that preserve natural resources, mitigate climate change, and ensure social well-being contributes to long-term peace by preventing resource-related conflicts.
Strengthening international cooperation: Collaboration between nations is essential in maintaining global peace. Strengthening multilateral institutions, promoting diplomacy, and fostering international partnerships can help address global challenges and resolve conflicts through peaceful means.
It is crucial to remember that the goal of achieving global peace requires a collective effort from individuals, organizations, communities, and nations. By embracing these actions and continuously working towards peace, we can strive for a more harmonious and peaceful world.
Saliu Olanrewaju Lah writes from the ancient city of Ilorin in commemoration of International Day of Peace