- September 21 is celebrated as World Peace Day annually
- Nigerians are not left out in this important day in the world's calendar
- The Peace Corps of Nigeria are always at the forefront of this event
Nigerian youths across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, congregated in Abuja, where the unity and peaceful coexistence among the Nigeria people was unequivocally addressed.
The event, which had the theme ‘Together for Peace: Respect, safety and dignity for all’, was organised at the instance of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, under the leadership of Dr Dickson Akoh.
The minister of youth and sports development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, in his address, charged Nigerian youths to be ambassadors and soldiers of peace in whatever they do.
“Young people should take it upon ourselves to do all at our disposal to entrench peace in all we say, where we go and in all we do.
“It is in light of what we are discussing, that I encourage every young person to be seen as a soldier of peace, to ensure peace globally. This is the sacrifice required from us all,” the minister said.
He called on young people and the constituted authorities, to embrace dialogue rather than war, stressing that the dialogue must, however, be expressed in a civil manner.
For every society to enjoy peace, Dalung said: “The peace must flow from within to the outside and must spread without limits.”
While appreciating the role of the Peace Corps of Nigeria at ensuring peace in the society, the minister also charged the youth to “support the present administration’s effort towards stemming the spate of vices, such as hate speech, terrorism and corruption,” which he said had plagued the country.
In his welcome address, Dr Akoh charged the youths to always embrace peace in whatever they do, adding that, peace was a vital commodity in the society.
His words: “As desirable and crucial as peace is to development, in Nigeria, this vital commodity has been under intense pressure in recent times as a result of hate speeches, ethnic agitations and divisive politics; all in the name of restructuring and self-determination.
“However, the granite truth is that, addressing injustice of whatever form or seeking ideal restructuring cannot be achieved on the altar of violence, perhaps, also not by hate speeches.
“This can only be achieved based on the universal principles of constructive dialogue and integrated negotiations, which modern democracy avails us.”
The Peace Corps Boss therefore, enjoined the youths, communities and the government to intensify efforts to end conflicts of all kinds and promote peace and harmony.
Through cultural display, playlets and other varieties, the youth reaffirmed their love for one Nigeria and the need to stand in unity to fight anti-peace elements in the society.
The 2017 International Day of Peace had in attendance, the leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, the National Association of Nigerian Students, the Boys Brigade, the Girls’ Guide, among other dignitaries.
Meanwhile, leaders of various groups and ethnic nationalities across Nigeria held a meeting on Thursday, September 21 in Abuja due to the recent happenings in the polity fueled by agitations.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting and seen by NAIJ.com restated the groups commitment to a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
At the meeting were leaders of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Ohaneze Youths Council Worldwide (OYC), Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Yoruba Youth Congress (YYC), Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) and a host of other groups.
Watch Vice President Yemi Osinbajo lecture Nigerians on the need to live in peace always on NAIJ.com TV: