From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
On Monday, May 24, 2021, youths from across Nigeria assembled in Abuja to brainstorm on ways to end insecurity in the country and strong threats to peace and unity of Nigeria.
The youths said they had observed that there’s rising call for dismemberment of the country due to perceived injustice and unfair distribution of the commonwealth of the country to different ethnic groups that make up the country, not minding tribe, religious, political and other differences.
Nigerian National Youth Wing of the International Parliament for Safety, Peace and Justice of the United Nation which provided the platform for the national youths security summit, registered its concerns with the rising sound of division and hatred in Nigeria, hence, the platform to promote peace and unity among Nigerians.
Speakers from civil society, youth groups, political organizations, religious bodies, among several others took time to expose the participants to the benefits of being together as a indivisible entity, thus urging the participants to join in championing the cause for peace and unity among Nigerians.
Nigerian National Youth President, Prince Orji Odii, in his remarks appealed to the youths to take ownership of the leadership structure of the country, not by violence but by strategic thinking and political calculations that are superior to that of the people in government.
He said the United Nation is seriously interested in the peace and unity of Nigeria, hence their unhidden support for any cause that would strengthen peace and unity in Nigeria, and also herald unprecedented growth and development in the country.
He said: “My target is the peace and unity of this nation. It is at the centre of this security summit. From here, we will move to other part of the country (36 states) where we would intensify the campaign for this course.
“There’s need for re-orientation of our youths, educating them that the decision to take arms against the state and community is not the best option, as it will further set back the wheel of growth and progress of Nigeria. There’s more we can achieve being together than otherwise.”
Prince Odii Orji disclosed that a selected few persons have been given the United Nations Peace Ambassador award due to their visible contributions to the promotion and maintenance of peace and unity in their various communities.
Keynote Speaker, Yunusa Tanko, in his remarks, tried to disabuse the minds of the youths, particularly those who have chosen the part of violence for whatever reason.
He encouraged the youths to withdraw their thuggery services or other violent services to “desperate” politicians, advising that they channel such youthful energy and strength to the cause of positive change in polity.
With reference to his growing days in Kaduna, Tanko, recalled that there was never a division, suspicious nor acrimony among different faith in Kaduna and beyond, stating that desperate politicians caused the hatred and division among different faith and tribe in the state and beyond for the sake of their political ambition.
He was, however, hopeful that such days can come back, possibly better, if the youths would unite, shun sentiments, divisive tendencies and recommit to the return of stronger peace and unity in Nigeria.
He reminded the recipients of the United Nations Ambassador of Peace that their recognition medal or logo is not for decoration but a call for more work and effort to strengthen peace and unity in the country.
He said: “I was meant to understand that the award was purely based on recognition and not for the highest bidder. I have also confirmed that from many of the recipients that I have spoken with. It’s expected of you to ensure that you double your effort in promoting peace, unity, tolerance among the people irrespective of religious, political, ethnic, cultural and several other differences.
Minister of Science and Technology, who was represented by Dr. Abayomi Omotunde, appreciated the efforts of the organizers to initiate discussions that would strengthen peace and unity in Nigeria.
He assured them that Federal government is committed to any cause that would strengthen the fragile peace and unity in Nigeria.
One of the award recipients, Ebere Orji, described the award as a recognition of his years of commitment to the cause of peace and unity in his locality and beyond.
He said: “It’s also a call for more commitment and booster for increased effort to any cause that would strengthen peace and unity in Nigeria not minding tribe, religion or political affiliations.”
Another awardee, Chief Halifax Nwaze, said: “I will not relent in making sure that peace reigns in Nigeria and in the whole world. I will not relent in mentoring our youths on the importance of peaceful co-existence with one another avoiding violence and entrenching good behaviour.”