By Mr Amuzat Gbenla
Lecturer: The Polytechic, IBADAN
“Culled from the Press Release”
Today 21st day of September 2020, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in collaboration with
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development, Africa Initiative for Peace and Human Development and Climate and Sustainable Development Network celebrate the International Day of Peace themed “LIVING SAFE TOGETHER: Shaping peace through Gender Inclusive Policies.”.
We celebrate today with the hope that insurgency and gender based violence which has hampered our peace in Nigeria will soon come to an end.
As it is evidenced that women and Girl-Children surfers more during conflict situation, it is now paramount than ever that we focus more on teaching our population of growing young generation on how to build and maintain peace in Nigeria.
On this day West African network for peacebuilding believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how fragile we are as humans and the need to shun raciai, tribal and gender bias as we work together to keep each other safe, healthy and alive in our communities.
We must understand that the best gift we can give ourselves and our nation is the gift of peace through tolerance.
According to the United Nations; COVID-19 is a global health crisis, unlike any other one that is spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy and upending the lives of billions of people around the globe. Vulnerable populations in countries with weaker health systems like ours are facing existing humanitarian crises are at great risk.
As a nation, the first thing that should be paramount to us should be how we can achieve and sustain peace within ourselves and at our various lowest unit of the society, which is the family.
Let’s be reminded that the greatest enemy that we must fight is insecurity and conflicts, which has crippled our economy, exposed our weak health systems and killed many of our Brothers.
Hence, we must therefore remember that everyone that bears the name Nigeria is a family, although we may not be bound by the blood but we are knitted by the same course, the same hope, the same aspiration, the same longing for a better future and a better Nigeria.
It is therefore, a duty on us that we fashion out ways to edge out these enemies through working out processes for lasting peace among ourselves in this country. Let us all remember that the enemies that we need to fight, is definitely not ourselves in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
Our women remains the pillar of our society. They are the center point in our families, the anchor that hold the family ship regardless of the societal wave that may lampoon us. Many women will gladly walk on fire to maintain and keep the family together, yet they surfer insults, attacks, rape, indignities, assaults, loss of children and are treated with indignity during conflicts. Their voices and pains are never factored into settlement as they are mostly never represented at conflict remediation processes.
Peace can only be maintained when justice and equity is percieved to have been achieved. The current peace plan that neglects’ female representation might fail. We need to factor women into all our peace processes to achieve real equity and justice.
We maintain that peace is maintained through inclusive policies. Gender inclusivity might be the key out of repetitive conflicts and insecurity in our society.
Happy International Peace Day to all Nigerians. May we all achieve inner peace as we try to build global peace.
WANEP Oyo State – IJEOMA LADELE
AIPHD Oyo State – ADENIJI DON MICHAEL
CSCSD Oyo State: KOLAWOLE AMUSAT