By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Kaduna State Archdiocese Co-ordinator of Development and Peace Initiative (JDPC), Reverend Father Joshua Achir has charged every citizens of the State and Nigeria at large to respect everyone’s right to lives in any part of Nigeria irrespective of their religion, race, region, section, tribe or gender.
He gave the charge in his welcome address at an interactive forum in commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace, 2017 usually celebrated every 21st September every year was held in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Friday with the Theme: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.
The Co-ordinator who sees peace as comfort and freedom from war and terror, said absence of peace in any region of the world is responsible for the deaths of many people, which results in the downfall of that region, saying JDPC chose of mark the Day to identify with the world on the campaign for peaceful co-existence.
Reverend Father Achir reminded the young people in the state that they have a vital role to play by volunteer to welcome and help refugees and migrants in their communities.
“Everyone has an equal opportunity to work and make a living, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other aspect of identity.” he said.
The Catholic Clergy was of the opinion that this year International Day of Peace focuses on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.
According to him, the massage are shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.
“The International Day for Peace was established in 1981 as a result of UN resolution to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982 and was held on the 3rd of September each year until 2002 when the September 21st became the permanent date for the International Day for Peace. The Assembly declared that the Day should be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence”.
“The Day highlights solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcases the shared benefits of migration and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminded them of their common humanity”.
“From my search for peace, l has found that peace is not so much a condition, but rather a state of being. Like truth or freedom, love and happiness not so easy to described or define although it can certainly be experiences”.
“By finding and creating peace within our mind and helping others do the same, we can achieve peace in this world, as John F. Kennedy will say “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowing eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures”. he said
The Catholic Clergy called on the Government at all levels to continue to do the needful by ensuring that every life is safeguarded and protected from all forms of threats and attack in the state.
The Co-ordinator prayed that “as we commemorate this Day, we will work with on other including those we term as enemies to become partners for peace. “I will like to conclude with the words of Mother Teresa, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” she concluded.
He also enjoined them to extend the hand of friendship to young refugees and migrants who they might meet in their classrooms, neighborhoods, concentrated camps, prisons and on the Internally Displace People.
Contributing, Mr. Haruna Michael who represented the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State Chapter at the program mentioned that to stay in peace is very paramount to the society.
He urged Nigerian leaders to work on good governance because where there is no good governance, there will be no peace for us to move forward and thanked JDPC for organizing the program and the effort they to ensure people live together in peace.
Also, the Chairman, Catholic Laity Council said the program is a commendable effort in bringing issues that has been disturbing, if not completing threaten to wiping away of human existence.
“The cannot be peace if the world do not take into cognizance with the three word “equality, Justice and Fairness”, lamenting that unless the word come to play a very vital role and we take it as our watch word, they can never be peace.
He however called on all and sundry to endeavor that in our individual families, they must always fight for peace.