By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Head of Department, (HOD), Human Resource Management, in Kaduna Polytechnic, Mallam Abdullahi Abubakar, has said peace is the ingredient of socioeconomic growth and development of any society, saying growth and development will totally be absent when peace is lacking.
He stated this at a one-day workshop organized by Generationsforpeace in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, (ISCT) and Global Young Generations for Peace Development Initiative, (GYDI) to mark this year’s International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development held in Kaduna on Monday, May 21, 2018
Abubakar in a paper with theme: “Promotion of Inter-Ethnic Tolerance and Respect for Effective Coexistence in Kaduna State,” said Kaduna state is one among many Nigerian states blessed with multiple ethnic groups, sub-ethnic groups and religions, and it is a home to so many diversities and conflicts interests.
He added that diversity, though a great blessings, but if not efficiently managed, can lead to serious disagreements that will in turn lead to any of the following: “Feeling of marginalization and domination by those that feel their interests is negatively affected; mischievous elements may want to cash in and exploit peoples sentiments by inflaming the situation, by way of promoting enmity and hates instead of peace.
“When negative feelings, depression, enmity and hates grow to a boiling point, the next to happen is violent conflict that can lead to damages, and destructions of lives and property, and many other vices.
“In terms of inter-ethnic conflicts, Kaduna state scored records to being the pacesetter, since 1987 to date. To the extent that its population residents is now divided based purely on ethnic and religious fault lines,” he said.
Speaking to Daily News Precise shortly after the event, a participant, Anthony Ofodili who represented the southsouth/southeast of the country said preaching peace to the grassroots – families, states and the nation is what GenerationsforPeace stands for.
According to him, if institutions, government parastatals, politicians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, families among others preach peace in their various communities, Nigeria will be a better place to live in.
Similarly, Yetunde Arowolo, who represented the southwest Nigeria added her voice towards promotion of peace in the country, saying she firmly believe peace is attainable in the country only if Nigerians are willing to live together in peace.
She urged Nigerians to always be alert and not neglect the happenings around their communities as those little groups that we neglect most often than not are where evil ideas are muted.
Also, Abubakar Nasidi, who represented the northern region of Nigeria said there have been negative clashes and misunderstanding between people of diverse culture which shouldn’t have happened.
He disclosed that the collection of people from different ethnic backgrounds at the event tells us that what we all grave for inside is peace, but do not know how to go about it; hence, the people gathered to dialogue
for peace at the grassroots.
“We believe in grassroots peace initiative, because when the grassroots understands it, it would be pass down from one generation to the other,” he said.
Another delegate, Mendei Jeremiah, explained that 60 participants from different ethnic groups resident in Kaduna state were drawn from the Southwest, Southeast/Southsouth and Northern region of the country to carry out a community led initiative for inter-ethnic respect and tolerance among citizens.
“Despite our cultural differences we must harp on our strength rather than our weaknesses. Today, people of various ethnic groups who have lived in Kaduna for over 10 years with in depth knowledge of it situations are here to talk and spread the message of peace,” he said.