As the world marked the 2021 International Peace Day, Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa yesterday prompted the understanding and appreciation of diversity as a catalyst for peaceful coexistence.
On September 21, 1981, the United Nations Organization (UNO) proclaimed the International Peace Day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through the observation of 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Barr Festus Agas, the governor underscored the essence of meaningful peace-building platforms aimed at political and social stability as captured in his SMART Agenda.
He further advocated equality, support for the advancement of women in society through political and economic initiatives, encouragement of democratic ideals and participation at all levels as other factors for peaceful relations.
‘’We must seek to understand that around the world, we are all more alike than different. We must seek common grounds, understand and value the differences we find in the cultures that we experience.
‘’We must promote economic and social stability. At the core of peaceful relations, we must respect all human rights to the belief that all humans are valuable. No one ethnic group is better than the other’’ Okowa said.
The Chairman of Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, identified the need to consolidate on the existing peace experienced in the state, even as he commended Governor Okowa for maintaining peace and equity though ensuring justice.
Remarking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor highlighted the surge of conflict-related attributes to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on community leaders to be proactive in their actions to manage conflicts in their communities.
In his lecture, Dr. David Oba, argued that the current unrest in the northern part of Nigeria has wiped out the gains of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in the fight against COVID-19.
‘’The essence of government is to protect lives, liberty and properties. But sadly, the Federal Government has entered a state of anomie and abdicated its responsibilities. The ongoing killings in Nigeria have thrown the country into a ‘peace of the graveyard’.
‘’A country which is currently fighting insurgents, armed bandits, kidnappers, killer-herdsmen, cannot be said to be developing, rather, we are developing ‘’in a reversed gear’’ said the varsity don.
BY Patrick Mgbodo
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