The United Nations Peace and Positive Living Awareness Centre, UN-PEPOLAC, has celebrated the 2021 World Peace Day with special recognition of fifty-eight eminent Nigerians who they believe have made conscious and spectacular efforts in the promotion of peace in Nigeria.
Some of the awardees include the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Former Governors Peter Obi, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
Correspondent, David Okpokwasili, reports that spectacularly, Governor Obiano of Anambra State was honoured as the “Most Peaceful Governor in Nigeria from 2017 to 2021”, which according to the organizers, is for the peace and security that have thrived in the State, which they observed, have enabled good governance and prosperity of the State, a record yet to be broken in Nigeria, and for his many legacy projects, including the Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, Umueri.
The celebration, which had its theme as “Recovering Better For an Equitable and Sustainable World”, a theme that aims at engendering peace in the post Covid-19 pandemic world, also provided opportunity for discussions on how to promote the culture of peace in all facets of human society, especially in Nigeria.
In a keynote address, a Professor of Comparative African Literature, Department of English language at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Echezona Ifejirika, said against the popular “el dorado” view of having equality in the world, there should be a better focus on creating a sustainable world, as nature in its form seems to be more tilted to inequality.
To have a sustainable world therefore, Professor Ifejirika suggested that the United Nations’ Security Council come up with stringent actions against countries who engage in arbitrary incursion into other countries, and find ways to punish countries and world leaders who engage in human rights abuses against freedom fighters and self-determination activists, systemic ethnic bias and cleansing, as ways to deter people from engaging in such.
The International Cordinator of United Nations Peace and Positive Living Awareness Centre in Nigeria, Bishop Ozioma Ozoemena, said the culture of peace is more important to the world now, especially in Nigeria, if societal cohesion could be achieved.
Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Tony Olofu, represented by his Deputy in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Umoru Ozigi, underscored the importance of leaders, no matter political orientations, not to relent in condemning acts of violence when it happens in any part of the country.
The presentation of the awards to the awardees and a commitment from the governorship candidates of different political parties to do everything within their powers to promote peace if elected as Governor of Anambra were the major features of the event.
The International Day of Peace set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 is celebrated every September twenty first to raise awareness on the importance of promoting peace.