Nigeria joined the rest of the world on Monday September 21, to mark the International Day of Peace.
The United Nations, UN, had in September 2002 in accordance with its General Assembly Resolution 55/282, declared September 21 every year as the International Day of Peace. The day is devoted to strength the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The theme of 2015 commemoration was “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
Indeed, there is no gain saying the fact that the world today needs peace and security more than any other thing. With terrorism now a global phenomenon, world leaders and lovers of peace need to come together to fight this common enemy which has inflicted and continues to inflict severe pain, agony, misery and death everywhere.
Nigeria has had its own fair share of violence. For over 5 years, members of the dreaded and faceless Boko Haram have terrorized, maimed and killed thousands of people especially in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Gombe, Bauchi, and Plateau as well as Kano and Kaduna in the North-West. At the same time, thousands of others have been rendered homeless, with many scattered in far-flung cities from their traditional homes.
For any nation that wishes to prosper, peace and security are prerequisites for national development.
Unfortunately, peace has eluded Nigeria despite huge resources channeled into addressing security challenges while infrastructural development suffered.
The present situation though more devastating, is however not the first time the unity of Nigeria has been put to test as the country has faced various forms of conflicts and violence in the past that threatened her corporate existence, including a 30-month civil war. In each occasion, the country came out stronger and more united.
But beyond conflicts and violence, there are other security issues in Nigeria such as agitation for self-determination by some segments of the country coupled with armed robbery, assassinations, kidnappings among others, hindering sustainable development. Sometime last year, a former secretary to the government of the federation, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped in his farm in Ondo state while the wife of the Deputy Managing Director of Sun Newspapers, Steve Nwosu and Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Gwagwalada Abuja, Rt. Rev. Tambuwaye were equally kidnapped in Lagos and Abuja respectively, but later released. There are many other ugly incidents.
All these constitute hindrances to sustainable development, and push peace and security further away from Nigerians who yearn for it.
Nevertheless, peace and security could be attained if proper mechanisms to deal with the causes were put in place.
Therefore, the present administration has a chance with history, to address the current security challenges so as to ensure sustainable peace and security.
To do this, government should refocus on social economic policies rather than relying solely on military intervention because there will be peace only when policies that promote justice and equality are put in place.