Let’s engage in action towards social justice to achieve peace – GPD

Nigerians should engage in meaningful action through unwavering dedication, commitment and social justice to achieve peace, well being and harmony across Nigerian communities, the Executive Director, Global Peace Development, Mr. Ebruke Esike has said. 

Speaking at a symposium to mark the International Day of Peace 2023 with the theme: “Action for Peace, our Ambition for Global Goal”, organised by Kaduna State Peace Commission, Global Peace Development, ActionAid Nigeria, Mercy Corp, Interfaith Mediation Center with the support of Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, Esike said the theme Action for Peace is a reminder that peace is not a passive state but an active pursuit that requires unwavering dedication and commitment. 

“Peace begins with fostering empathy, understanding and respect towards one another regardless of our differences. It extends to our families, schools, workplaces, and communities where we have the power to create inclusive environments that value diversity, promote constructive dialogue, and entrenchment of social justice, and accountability. The theme calls upon us to go beyond mere words and engage in meaningful actions that contributes to the well-being and harmony of our

communities that is entrenched in social justice.”

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna state, said the Day has presented the state with another platform to consolidate the gains it has made in peace building. He said security plays pivotal role in achieving peace, adding that open, frank and honest discussion among all parties is key to ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard and valued. Represented by his Special Adviser on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Mr Atiku Sankey, Governor Sani said, “by expanding tolerance we can bridge the divide and ensure a peaceful community. 

“We want to involve our people in our policies and programmes to ensure that they truly reflected the wishes of our community. Human capacity development, inclusiveness and poverty eradication are pillars to ensure peace building. We are investing in health, education, human capacity development and social development to ensure that no one is left behind and everybody is carried along.”

The Guest Speaker, a Professor of Criminology and Gender Studies, Prof. Hauwa’u Evelyn Yusuf said since advent of “democracy in 1999, Kaduna state has known no peace. There has been series of religious and economic conflicts in the state. Everyone is overwhelmed by it. We need to come together to commit to finding solution and getting peace in all ramifications.” She said attitudinal change, making all citizens feel valued, putting citizens in the front, development of empathy for all irrespective of differences and inclusiveness are steps to be taken to address conflicts in the state.

The Executive Vice Chairman of Kaduna State Peace Commission, Mr. Saleh Momale said, “our differences are not from any violence. The citizens in Kaduna state are committed and resolute in finding ways of resolving these problems through cooperation and partnership that transcends the narrow divides of ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic pursuit which had previously been the major drivers of violent conflicts.”

The Vice Chancellor of Kaduna State University, (KASU), Prof. Abdullahi Musa said Kaduna State University will soon establish a center for the study of peace and conflict resolution and to train students as ambassadors of peace. He said KASU will also dedicate funds to study conflict resolution, diversities and inter-communal crises.