By Henry Uche
In continuation of its efforts to see a new Nigeria birthed where Peace, harmony, equity, fairness, truth and Justice shall prevail across board irrespective of diversities, the Rebuild Nigeria Initiative (RNI) is set to hold its first International Peace Dialogue for Nigerians in Antwerp, Belgium.
In a statement signed by the Group’s Director of Media & Publicity, Lara Gureje-Oderinde, RNI’s Vice President, Collins Nweke, said the Peace Dialogue was designed to gather eminent Nigerians and other thought leaders and global figures specialised in peace dialogue and conflict resolution with the aim of proffering viable, feasible and sustainable solutions to the multilayered problems besetting Nigeria.
Nweke stressed that the group intends to assemble all willing players, build a coalition of non-state actors to interrogate different aspects of securing and sustaining lasting peace from a global perspective. “Our ambition is to reach a possible consensus on a common collaborative approach based on international best practices in conflict resolution adapted for Nigerian realities.”
Slated for Tuesday, 13 December 2022, at the Venerable Chapel of The Cathedral of Antwerp, by the Catholic Bishop of Antwerp, Monsignor Johan Bonny, the president of RNI and speaker at the event, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo said the Group believes that facilitating peace dialogues at subnational, national, and international levels reinforces the importance of peace as a cornerstone of civil wellbeing, security, and politics and Socioeconomic prosperity.
According to him, “Peace is the panacea to the Nigeria of our dreams, just as justice and equity are the bedrocks of nationhood.”
Drawing from her years of experience in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), RNI Executive Secretary, Dr. Fatima Akilu opined that, “With the mistrust, mutual suspicion, and division caused by Nigeria’s fault lines, it is difficult for growth and development to thrive. If unchecked quickly, retaining the current status quo practices can lead to the escalation of internal disagreements which could result in Nigeria total disintegration.”
Issues for discourse are: The State of Peace in Nigeria; The Fault Lines of Peace in Nigeria; International Perspectives on Conflict Resolution; Interacting for Peace in Nigeria, amongst others.
Some of the Speakers at the event are: Dr. Fatima Akilu- an expert in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE); Pastor Ituah Ighodalo; Monsignor Johan Bonny, Catholic Bishop of Antwerp, Belgium; Meyrem Almaci, foremost Belgian politician and expert on comparative cultures.