FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, reiterated the need for Africans, particularly Nigerians to toll the paths of peace and eschew division of all sorts that could leave the region torn in conflicts.
This was even as he specifically stated that Nigeria’s pursuit of peace cannot be achieved in isolation of the pursuit of justice and other human security needs.
Jonathan stated this during a peace summit organised by the Universal Peace Federation, UPF, aimed at analysing strategies for peace on the Korean Peninsula and its relevance for the African Region, in Abuja.
According to him, in Africa, having suffered the excruciating pain of distrust, and betrayal between our people especially in the wake of the struggle of independence and liberation, the time has come to toll the part of peace and eschew division.
“This must begin with the transcending ideals that can overcome the current division of our current world. We must enable people to connect through different religions, races, beliefs and build upon it as a key foundation to peace in families, communities and nations. Ensuring a peaceful world is urgent for us all.
“Let us all rise up to this challenge and constructively recruit every support for the Goals to be attained. As we have gathered here today, let us all work collaboratively at finding lasting solutions to the challenges of our time; promote constructive dialogue and multilateral cooperation for the sake of peace and human development”, he added.
The event which also witnessed the induction of over 10 world peace ambassadors across the country, drummed the need for peace through in-depth socialization at different levels.
Addressing Journalists on the sideline of the peace summit, an inductee who doubles as an Ambassador of Peace, Emonyon Odion, highlighted injustice, unfairness and inequity as part of banes for achieving peace in Nigeria.
Odion, therefore, advised all Nigerians and other critical stakeholders to embrace justice and be fair to all, as this would contribute to advancing peace in the country and the world at large.
His words: “Lack of peace in Africa, mainly has to do with justice or fairness in Africa. These are presently lacking in every aspect of our sphere of life in Africa.
“People tend to treat people without consideration in regards to actions carried out against this person without considering if it is fair. Can it be done to me? And, also, there is no basis for what I would call a path for you to seek justice so that when you feel that you have been maltreated, you can also get to enjoy justice, so justice and fairness is lacking presently in Africa and Nigeria, particularly.
“In whatever position that you are, treat people the way you want to be treated, and if you are also at the lowest position, if you have been treated badly, also seek justice. There is no need for you to take power or take justice into your hand.”
In his keynote address, the Director, Abuja Leadership Centre University of Abuja, Nigeria, Professor Philip Afaha, stated that one of the resolutions to foster peace in Africa is centered on: “confidence building among the warring people in Africa, especially the leadership in Africa.
“There has to be a way that the leaders know that they have to build confidence. You don’t do things and people are complaining and you’re doing that thing simply because you are in the leadership cadre.
The leaders must always have fear for the people and there must be dialogue. It is unfortunate that since 2014 when President Goodluck Jonathan organised the national conference, we have not found any reason in Nigeria to call the Nigerian people again to talk with each other instead of talking at each other that we are doing now.
“So, these are the ways to build confidence to bring people together. People must be allowed to talk to themselves instead of being encouraged by the system to talk at themselves and it has to do with the government. Government has to be the one putting the modalities in place to make sure that peace reigns”, he averred.
Earlier in his remark, the Chairperson, UPF Africa, Dr. Kathy Rigney, noted that Africa must see itself as a major player in ensuring world peace, adding that, indirectly, the conflict in Korea Peninsula has an adverse effect on the region of Africa.
“As long as there is conflict in the Peninsula, It affects us here in Africa and that is why the purpose of a conference like this is to bring our minds back. What is affecting the Korean Peninsula, dividing one country into two and creating all kinds of suffering because I have been to Korea several times, believe me, the pains, struggle and suffering in the peninsula is something very similar to what we’re having here in Africa.”
He, therefore, advised the Nigerian leaders to adopt: “the principles that the founder of UPF has propagated which are the principles of interdependence; mutual prosperity, and shared values.”