By Ajiri Daniels, Abuja
In the face of rising insecurity and widespread ethno-religious conflicts across the country, the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC), Dr. Mustapha Abubakar has called on Nigerians to act together as a united force for national reconciliation, nation building and birth of a new Nigeria.
CG Abubakar who spoke on the sidelines of the 2021 National Peace Summit in Abuja, noted that it is the responsibility of every Nigerian, regardless of our ethnic or religious inclinations, to work together towards a sustainable peace and progress of the nation.
The Summit tagged: “Peace, Unity & Security: Panacea to achieving a sustainable and peaceful coexistence among ethno-religious/cultural groups in Nigeria,” sought to create and intensify public awareness on how youth, stakeholders, and traditional rulers’ participation, partnership and engagements can prevent violent extremism and foster sustainable peace and development.
Speaking on the theme of the summit, CG Abubakar said, “NPC believes in the unity of Nigeria. We believe because we have seen that Nigeria’s unity is working for us as a people in 99% areas. The only area Nigeria as a country failed is on the area of ‘polities’ which accounts for only 1%. This is not strong enough to divide us as a people. NPC believes that together we can fix it.
“Nigeria failed today not because of the marriage between the South and the North, but because of our inability to be responsible partners.
“NPC believes that everyone, not minding your faith, language, or where you come from, as long as you are a Nigerian, is important in this marriage and therefore should be involved in the struggle to build a better Nigeria wherein all will enjoy and be happy.”
Also speaking, the guest speaker and president of Mediation Training Institute (MTI-Nigeria), Dr. Segun Ogunyannwo who harped on the need for peace, unity and security in the development of Nigeria, pointed out the the level of ethno-religious conflicts ravaging the society was due to the absence of love amongst the citizenry.
Ogunyannwo explained that love was the missing link without which the nation cannot achieve harmony and peaceful coexistence.
He said, “We are here today under the auspices of the Nigerian Peace Corps with a focus on how peace, unity and security will serve as a panacea for sustainable peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, especially dealing with our ethno-religious, ethno-cultural nature.
“Conflicts are always inevitable. Once people come together, with different backgrounds, we cannot but have conflicts. How can we continue to live in harmony? I’m of the strong believe that the missing link is love. If there is love, peace is assured. You can’t have peace without love.
“The outcome of this programme is for all Nigerians to see the need to be united. We want peace, we want unity,” he added.