By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS—THE National Association of Seadogs, NAS, also known as Pyrates Confraternity, has called for an end to racism and ethnocentrism.
The Cap’n of Hawkins Deck in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, Mr Shola Ajayi, made the call during a roundtable discourse to mark the 2022 International Day of Peace.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21 and as part of the celebrations to mark the day, the association embarked on sensitisation walk along the Akowonjo Road axis of Egbeda to educate Nigerians on the significance of the day.
The primary targets of the sensitisation walk were the elderly, parents, guardians, young adults, and children, and political, traditional, and religious leaders, among others.
Ajayi noted that racism has continued to poison institutions, and social structures in the everyday life of society, stressing that there was a need to put an end to it through increased awareness.
He said: “It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilises societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.
“It is an important time to increase awareness of this event, as much of the world still suffers from war and violence. The Global Peace Index, which is produced by Vision of Humanity, found that in 2016 the world is 2.4 per cent less peaceful than it was a year ago.
“The conflict in Syria has displaced more than 11 million people since 2011 and throughout the world; 3.7 million children lack proper access to education.”
He added that achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms, adding that it requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish.
Speaking during the roundtable discourse, guest speaker, Dr Adeolu Oyekan, noted that numerous acts that constitute crimes against humanity have been committed under the pretext of racial superiority, thereby creating legacies of inequalities and injustices that transcend generations and geographical boundaries.
Oyekan, a senior lecturer at Lagos State University, Ojo, said conscious efforts must be made to put an end to racism and ethnocentrism which are also inherent in Nigeria.
He said, “Within Nigeria as a nation, pulling the country back from the cliff requires a new imagination that is both empathetic and other-regarding. We need to rethink the models and shapes of state institutions and structures.
“The government needs to break the cycle of conflicts by ensuring that institutions of state dispense justice without fear or favour.
“Organisations like NAS also need to give more vent to its disavowal of tribalism, and seek collaboration with like-minded people and groups in nurturing a fair and egalitarian society where there is equality of opportunity for all Nigerians irrespective of tongue, creed, or class.”