Sunday, 10th December 2023

Intl Peace Day: UNDP, Mutfwang, others task Nigerians on peaceful co-existence

By Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) 
24 September 2023   |   4:11 am
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace peace, noting that decades of conflicts particularly in the North-East region of the country have hindered the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Plateau State governor Caleb Mutfwang

• Decry Ethnic, Religious Conflicts
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace peace, noting that decades of conflicts particularly in the North-East region of the country have hindered the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This was even as the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has declared that peace is a necessary tool for human survival, which must be guarded.

The National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Dr. Dickon A.O. Akoh, has also called on Nigerians to work towards safeguarding the rights of the people with a view to building peaceful and inclusive societies without recourse to ethnic or religious sentiments.

The stakeholders spoke at different events organised to mark this year’s International Day of Peace, which was held with the theme, ‘Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the Global Goals.’

While unveiling this year’s event last Friday in Maiduguri, the Head, UNDP Office, North-East, Dr. Moncef Kartas, said: “Today’s event in Maiduguri is to celebrate the universal longing for harmony and unity in a world often plagued by strife and turmoil.”

According to him, global peace transcends borders, cultures and beliefs, hence the efforts to achieve the SDGs in the North-East region.

He added that this year’s event underscores the role of individuals, communities and nations in fostering peace.

“Here in Maiduguri, Borno State, we bring a unique perspective to this global pursuit of peace, having experienced firsthand the impact of conflict and the yearning for stability in the North-East and Lake Chad region,” he added.

He noted that the event provides an opportunity to reflect on why the UN was established to promote international peace and security, adding that this year’s theme was chosen to foster peace and achieve the SDGs.

He added: “We agreed with the Government of Nigeria last December on several transformative initiatives under four strategic pillars that comprise prosperity, the people and peace.

“We’ll contribute to peace in this country and beyond, if we are able to support the government in accelerating significantly the achievement of SDGs without leaving anyone behind,” he added.

Governor Mutfwang spoke yesterday at the Plateau Peace Outing organised by the Kwamkur Samuel Foundation for Justice, Peace and Development to mark the International Peace Day celebration in Jos.

Mutfwang, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Samuel Jatau, pointed out that peace is very important, noting that people must come together irrespective of ethnicity and religion to enhance peaceful co-existence.

The governor urged Nigerians to free themselves from the shackles of religion and ethnicity, explaining that about 90 per cent of the people did not choose their religions for themselves.

The President of the Foundation, Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, said the day is a push for all to recognise how individual and collective actions can affect and foster global peace.

Kwamkur said the theme of this year’s event was meant to spur critical stakeholders and all peace lovers to take actions that will promote mutual respect, compassion and value for one another.

The chairman of the occasion and Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, appreciated the organisers of the event, saying Plateau State is ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’.

Ari noted that if there is no peace, people would find life very uncomfortable, lamenting that Nigerians unfortunately use religion and ethnicity to cause disharmony and violence in the country.

The National Commandant of the PCN spoke yesterday through the Oyo State Commandant of the corps, Ambassador (Patriot) Lukman Adelowo Yekini, at the Oyo State Government Secretariat Complex, Ibadan.

Yekini, who led numerous officers of the Command in a road walk across many streets of Ibadan, emphasised the need for all to embrace peace.

Places visited included Agodi Gate, Yemetu, Oyo State Secretariat Complex, NTA Ibadan Network Station and a host of others.

The state commandant also led his officers and men to pay a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Miss Wasilat Adegoke, where he said everyone must make peace a passion and a priority.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Ajoke Oladipo, received the officers on behalf of the commissioner.

Oladipo pointed out that peace is important to all, urging the youth to pursue peace at all times.