The Deputy Programme Manager of a Non-Governmental Organizations–Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) Mrs. Priscilla Aukut has described peace as oxygen for development, say in the absence of peace, development and growth suffers and thwarted.
Mrs. Priscilla Aukut stated this in her Key note address at an interactive forum in commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace, 2017 held in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Friday with the Theme: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” which was organized by the Development and Peace Initiative (JDPC).
Represented by the Assistant General Secretary, Radio, Television, Theater and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), Mr. Benjamin Gudaku, Mrs. Priscilla Aukut informed that it is only when we have peace in the context of genuine peace that we can have growth and development.
“We have always talked about peace and some Scholars even argued and because it is very difficult to give peace, they are of the opinion that they concept peace is an empty word.
“But l disagree, it is possible to have peace when there is justices, it is possible to give peace when there is equity, it is possible to experience peace when we mediate” she said.
“Peace and justice have two side of a coin as you cannot have peace with justices rather can there be justice without the ingredients of peace”.
“Therefore, for society to be at peace, we must have justice. In Nigeria, l am sorry to say that most of the things we are suffering today are borne out of injustice”. She stressed.
According to her, Nigerian have so perpetrated the act of injustices that it has become systematic, stressing that until the system are brought to a stand-still where everyone will rise up on the account of his confidence and get what they deserved, we will continue to have injustice, insecurity and we will continue to talk about peace but it will erode us more and more.
“We have so perpetrated the act of injustices that it has become systematic. Like for the fact l bear the name Benjamin, l will be treated in some quarters with death for no fault of mine but for the fact that l bears the name that is unjust society. And for the fact that somebody bears the name Mohammed, will also be treated with death in some quarters only because of his mane not because of his attitude”.
“Until the system are brought to a stand-still where everyone will rise up on the account of his confidence and get what they deserved, we will continue to have injustice, insecurity and we continue to talk about peace but it will be eroded us more and more”.
“How comes, that today if you go to Michigan in Adamawa State, the Muslims in that town goes to market on Thursday and the Christians will not go to that market on that day, they will go to the same market on Saturday and the Muslims will not go there. It is as bad as this”.
“Meanwhile, religion, ethnicity are not independent variables, there dependent variables and without us carrying them and executing them, they are empty, nothing and powerless”.
“We give power to religion that is powerless and kills one and other with it as a result of it. As long as we entrench these kinds of principle, the society cannot get anywhere”.
“And l am saying, this conflicts are growing, about 20 years ago it was not there but a decade ago it was not pronounce. How comes that were are sited so wicked a generation that we want to quit the young children, a society the it is tore apart for things that are useless as an empty sheet of paper, ethnicity and religion”.
“The young student that are here today, as you grow up, please know that ethnicity and religion on its own is free, neutral and good but when we use it negatively, it kills, it destroys and it frustrate and makes the world look like a hostile environment that will not be associated with peace.
“The concept of migration, it has Biblical and Quantic orientation. Abraham migrated and never went and died rather he migrated and went and got his blesses. Mohammed never made the influence he made until he took on that Hijjira that is migration”.
“We have tune things upside down that migrants are look upon as people who do not have humanity, we take advantage of migrants and some died without dignity”.
For me, this is a way forward, we will continue to talk about people running away from the home and becoming migrants unless we are beginning to develop common polices that are very good and as long as we do not do that, l am afraid, we will continue to talk peace and we will never get peace.
Mrs. Priscilla Aukut called on the parents and religious leaders to go back to the principle of dialogue and communicate their difference, understanding and move ahead than to use guns as way of threaten others to give in so that we can take cheap opportunity of them.
The Deputy Programme Manager enjoined student across the country to know that ethnicity and religion on its own is free, neutral and good but when it use negatively, it kills, destroys, frustrate and makes the world look like a hostile environment that will not be associated with peace.