As part of activities marking this year’s World Peace Day, the Commandant General of National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPEC), Dr. Chinedu Nneji, has appealed to various violent groups; including Boko Haram, IPOB, bandits and kidnappers nationwide to lay down their arms.
This year’s World Peace Day is tagged; Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for The Global.
He said that this year’s theme is a call for action that recognizes individual and collective responsibilities to foster peace.
Addressing a press conference Thursday in Abuja, NUPEC’s Commandant general also pleaded with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign the Peace Corps of Nigeria Bill into law when the 10th National Assembly presents the bill him.
Dr. Nneji, who emphacised that only youth engagement, effective dispute resolution mechanism and constancy advocacy against violence and criminality can ensure peace is maintained at all times across the country, revealed that his organisation already has a blueprint to tackle some of the challenges if given opportunity.
According to him, many of the people involved in youth restiveness are not Nigerians, hence the need for government to sign the act establishing Peace Corps of Nigeria to expertise peace building through constant advocacy.
“We hereby call on all non-state actors in Nigeria such Boko Haram, Bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements to drop their arms and embrace positive action.
“Every sane society needs peace to develop. Peace is a panacea for socio-economic and political developments” the NUPEC boss emphacised.
“Our daily actions, planned actions and inspired actions and inactions with caution towards peace building, advocacy, justice, equal rights and fair play. Our individual and collective ambitions whether positive or negative are also critical to the peaceful and non- peaceful society.
“We need the government to grant necessary approvals so that we’ll move into the field before the youths can go to the extent of being involved in kidnapping, they might have some grievances and we want to look at those areas of grievances and all those areas of disagreement that might lead to these avoidable crimes, and see how best we can use mediation, conflict resolution to solve these problems.
“We also go further to create employment for these youths because we believe that if the government agree with us, we will also engage the youths train them, reintegrate them into the society and make sure we provide them with means of livelihood so that by the time we use advocacy to get their minds off this crime, will provide them with means of livelihood that they can use to sustain themselves. And if we continue like this, you will see that the society will be a better place.”
On the forthcoming governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states, Nneji said NUPEC will do everything within the law to ensure that the exercise conducted peacefully.
“Advocacy is an engagement we do with various communities, we deal with various disagreeing groups. We do it with people who have one grudge or the other and we also do it with even government to make sure that all parties that have one issue or the other that could lead to crisis will come to roundtable and have it discussed. That has been our strategy. So if you call it work, well, we call it dispute resolution.”