Int’l Peace Day: NGOs seek end to racism, discrimination

Society for Peace Studies and Practice

THE Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP), Oyo State chapter, in collaboration with the Environmental Conflict Mediation and Women Development Initiative (ECOMAWDI), have called for end to racism and discrimination.

Dr Nathaniel Danjibo, the National President, SPSP, made call at a day roundtable discourse to mark the 2022 International Day of Peace on Wednesday in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that each year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on Sept. 21.

The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

But, achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish.

It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.

NAN reports that theme of the 2022 International Day of Peace celebration is: “End racism. Build peace”.

Danjibo urged Nigerians to avoid the past politics of regionalism where ethno-religious interest had affected people’s electoral behaviours, as 2023 general election approaches.

He added that ethnicity and religion were two strong variables that Nigerians needed to overcome in electoral behaviours in order to have peace in the nation.

Danjibo said that SPSP would observe the International Day of Peace as a festival with conglomerations of activities that would address different issues on how to promote and maintain peace in the society.

In his remarks, as the Guest Speaker, Dr Omowumi Akin-Onigbinde, said that persistence discrimination against certain groups of people always brought rebellion.

“There will be peace in our nation when there is recognition for everyone as human beings, irrespective of their race, gender and colours.

“Whether in elections where the people’s rights to choose are constantly rubbish or in a democratic governance where pursuit of the common good has been long jettisoned, the common denominator is the absence of respect of people’s fundamental human rights.

“I, therefore, request the Egg Heads to recommend effective strategies for states and communities to promote rights education, protection and enforcement, so as to improve human relations in our societies and so engender peace.

“With enduring peace and mutual cooperation, socioeconomic development will ensue and humanity will flourish,” Akin-Onigbinde, Executive Director, Citizenship Education and Women Empowerment Initiative, said.

In the same vein, Prof. Olawale Albert, a member of the board of SPSP, said the main purpose of the Day was to remind global community that without peace, there would be no development.

Albert said that setting a day aside to discuss the significance of peace would make the frameworks for strengthening of peace in the world possible.

“This meeting today is to remind ourselves that without peace we cannot survive; we must drop ethnic and religion violence to move Nigeria forward,” he said.

Earlier, Mrs Ijeoma Ladele, the Executive Director, Environmental Conflict Mediation and Women Development Initiative (ECOMAWDI), said there was need to engage all levels of the society to promote peace in various sector in the country.

“This is an inaugural collaboration of the institutional networking that brings peace and security practitioners, professional mediators and civil society organisations together.

“Having looked at the concept of racism, gender issues and their implications, it shows that we need to work together in building peace in our nation,” Ladele said.

NAN reports that the roundtable discourse featured panel sessions with contributions from the security agencies, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders in peace and security management.(NAN)