By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – President/Founder, The Eye Opener Women and Youth Foundation, Mrs. Margaret Julius, has called on governments at all levels to ensure peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Julius made the call during a “Walk for Peace”, to mark this year’s World Peace Day in Kaduna on Wednesday.
According to her, the essence of the walk was to bring back together citizens in the state that had been separated by political/religious crises, culminating to disunity; and urged the governments at all levels to work for peace as no meaningful development can be achieved without it.
“We are bent on bringing Kaduna state back to its past glory to live in peace, harmony and tranquility. We have here 200 women and religious leaders with various stakeholders on peace building to join us in today’s peace walk with the aim of uniting the people and the state in general,” she said.
She stressed that hope was not lost and that all hands must be on deck towards bringing back the cherished unity of the state and the north in general.
Also speaking, the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO), in charge of Sabon-Gari, Kaduna, Chief Superintendent of Police Uzairu Abdullahi who represented the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, said Police especially is happy with the way people are getting it right now, talking about peace in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Earlier, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Comrade Adamu Yusuf, had commended the group for bringing up this initiative at the time it is most needed in Nigeria.
Similarly, the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry, in Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of the state, Pastor Yohanna Buru, commended Mrs. Julius for the onerous efforts in mobilizing various NGOs to participate in the exercise.
“We have mobilized Pastors and Imams to join us in today’s peace walk to bring back pace and togetherness between Christians, Muslims and other traditional believers.
“Peace is all we want in Nigeria, and without peace there cannot be any meaningful development. We must pray hard and begged the Almighty God for forgiveness on issues related to the growing crises and lack of peace across the world,” he posited.
Corroborating Buru, an interfaith specialist in Nigeria, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, who also took part in the peace walk said the international peace day was part of efforts to strengthen inter-and intra-religious relationship toward preventing and countering violent extremism, and as well promote peace building, reconciliation and conflict transformation, which are parts of the day to be marked worldwide.
She noted that ethno-religious and political crises in Kaduna state have affected hundreds of lives and property, as well as the peaceful coexistence enjoyed by the people.
She called for the creation of institutes of comparative studies in the country, saying the institutes would promote better understanding, religious tolerance, forgiveness, reduce blasphemy tendencies and continuously preach peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians.
The peace walk which was in conjunction with the Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), and other stakeholders, took off from the Secretariat of the council through to the heart of the city, Leventis Roundabout to create awareness for peace in Kaduna state, Nigeria and the world at large.
The exercise also attracted security personnel from the Nigerian Police, Civil Defense Corp, NDLEA, members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, among others.
The World International Peace Day is celebrated September 21, every year.