The UN and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) on Thursday in Abuja, urged aggrieved persons and groups in the country to ceasefire and allow peace to reign.
Speaking at a news conference on the commemoration of the forthcoming 2016 International Day of Peace, Director-General of IPCR, Prof. Oshita Oshita, said IPCR had embarked on several peace-building interventions. The director-general explained that the Day would provide all aggrieved persons and groups with another opportunity to embrace dialogue in the interest of the country and humanity. According to him, the Day also required all aggrieved persons and groups to ceasefire for at least 24 hours on the Day as a respect for humanity. “In the context of Nigeria, the 2016 International Day of Peace requires all aggrieved persons, groups and conflicts actors ceasefire for at least 24 hours and allow peace to prevail. “We demand all parties involved in crisis in the country, to ceasefire as no crisis can be resolved by violence; it still has to come to a roundtable for meaningful resolution. “We want to draw the attention of all conflict actors on the need to come to our senses to bring our country to the path of dialogue and development,” he said. He appealed to state governments to ensure the commemoration of the day in their respective states, to underscore the importance of entrenching the consciousness of peace in the public and private conduct. Oshita commended the Federal Government for given Nigeria an opportunity to breathe an air of peace through the degrading of Boko Haram. He enjoined all Nigerians to join hands with the federal government to promote peaceful coexistence in order to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Take a decision to be a peaceful person today and help to underscore the significance of the “change begins with me” philosophy of the federal government. ‘With peace, we can all have an economy and an investors-friendly country to help create jobs for our youth,’ he said. In his remarks, Dr Zebulun Takwa, Peace and Development Adviser of UN Development Programme (UNDP), said the whole world look up to Nigeria to come out of current security challenge. “The return of polio in Northeast Nigeria has been facilitated by the Boko Haram crisis and we are now spending hundreds of millions of naira to try to combat it. “If ministries, departments and agencies had been spending just five per cent of their budgets in supporting peace-building, we would have re-oriented the minds of the citizens. “Peace should not be a slogan for rhetoric, but we must all invest in it and it involves money,” he said. Mr Peter Mancha, Deputy Programme Manager, UN Women, stressed on the need to mainstream peace-building in development agenda, saying that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals could not be achieved without peace. He pledged that the UN Women would continue to work in Nigeria in the area of women, peace and security in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The theme for the 2016 Day is: “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”. The Day is commemorated every Sept. 21 in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 55/282 of September 2002.