By Yemi Itodo
In apparent response to the spate of incessant killings, kidnappings, banditry and armed robbery in the country, Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) has flagged-off a nationwide peace campaign tagged ‘let’s give peace a chance’.
Performing the flag off ceremony in Abuja Wednesday, National Commandant of the Corps, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh said “peaceful Nigeria is achievable if we collectively make peace not just a passion but our priority”.
Akoh also said the event was in response to the 100 days countdown message to the 2019 International Day of Peace by the United Nations Secretary General.
“As an affiliate of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, COSOC and in line with its commitment to promoting national creativity, peace and youth development, the Peace Corps of Nigeria has celebrated the International Day of Peace annually since 2012”, he said.
The Commandant said, “as the global community prepares to celebrate this year’s International Day of Peace with the theme “Climate Action for Peace”, we must remind ourselves that peace cannot be attained in the midst of avoidable crisis, the kind that we are witnessing today in Nigeria.
“It is a sad development that Nigeria is today in the vice grip of inexplicable violent killings of horrendous proportions”, which should attract the concern of well-meaning individuals and the government.
Another thing the Peace Corps is concerned with is the “gun culture” which Akoh said, is gradually taking a dominant position in our daily lives, thereby threatening the foundation of peace and security of the country.
As a way out, Akoh said, the Corps will mobilize the youth to play an active role in peace and conflict resolution by forming a new unit of peace missionaries and NGO networks in the grassroots, “concentrating on building the culture of peace and a near violent conflict free society”.
He reaffirmed the determination of Peace Corps of Nigeria to join hands with relevant government agencies and NGOs to end wanton and senseless killings through this campaign, peace building and advocacy.
The National Commandant quoted UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres thus: “It is possible to achieve our goals, but we need decisions, political will and transformational policies to allow us to still live in peace with our own climate”, adding that a peaceful Nigeria is therefore achievable.