Plan National Peace Dialogue Summit
By Adesina Wahab
Leaders of the United Nations, UN, Positive Livelihood Award Centre, POLAC, have appealed to Nigerians to become peace advocates and engage in peace advocacy wherever they are, saying that it is the panacea to solving the nation’s security challenges.
This is just as they said they are planning to hold a National Peace Dialogue Summit in the near future and also embark on a sensitisation tour of tertiary institutions to campaign against students being recruited into kidnapping, banditry and other social vices.
They stated this in Lagos at the weekend while marking the International Peace Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
The theme of the event was ‘Discover better: I contribute, you contribute, we contribute.”
Delivering her paper, Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, said peace advocates in Nigeria were resilient and concerned about solving insurgency, insecurity and peace-related problems through advocacy that holds the promise of improving the lot of the citizenry.
She described a peace advocate as someone who is ready and willing to promote peace and harmony in various local communities globally and who ensures the aims and objectives of the UN in the maintenance of global peace are achieved.
Adesanya-Davies, who is the International Director/Country President, UN-POLAC, poured encomiums on Prof. Obong Halo B. Eton, whom she described as the UN-POLAC lion.
“We must pray and pay very urgent attention to the situation of peace in Nigeria, Africa and even the world. We must always make the other person feel important and this is a must. That is the social and phycological test,” she said.
Also speaking, Hon. Peter Ohagwa, said peace is required for a sustainable future, as without peace, the future would be dark, blank and porous.
On the situation in Nigeria, he charged people not to take the laws into their hands, but to respect constituted authority for national development.
He listed conflict prevention steps to include not monopolising power, democratic participation of people in governance, partnership and inclusiveness, social justice equity and fairness among others.
In her speech, Dr Mrs Cynthia Obiorah said women could be described as drivers of sustainable development and that they should be at the forefront of peace advocacy.
She urged women to emulate peace advocates that had come before now.
She listed such women to include Mary Slessor, Queen Amina of Zaria, Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, and Mother Theresa among others.
Peace advocates and ambassadors were appointed and recognised during the ceremony.