Today Barring any unforeseen circumstances or last minute change in plan, the flag-off of ‘Let’s Give Peace a Chance’, by Peace Corps of Nigeria, which was initially scheduled to take place on Thursday, 8th August 7, 2019, at the National Headquarters and all the State Commands simultaneously, but later postponed due to unavoidable circumstances, will hold today, Wednesday, 14th August 2019.
The pivotal event, which will be kick-started by the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dr Dickson A. O. Akoh at the National Headquarters and State Commandants at the State Commands, is expected to be attended by Civil Society Organizations, officers of the Corps and the media.
From all intents and purposes, the five letter word P-E-A-C-E is significant in the life of PCN in several ways. Apart from the fact that the Organization was established on the foundation of peace, an essential commodity that is in miserable short supply in Nigeria today, PEACE occupies a pride of place or better still, pre-eminent position in its name.
It has been established beyond all reasonable doubt that for any nation to attain its manifest destiny, it must embrace peace in all ramifications. Security experts aver that majority of crime, which is an antithesis of peace, is perpetrated by the youths, the most vulnerable segment of the nation’s population. It therefore follows that any nation desirous of peace must strive relentlessly to address the basic needs of the youths, which actually underpins the existence of Peace Corps of Nigeria. No doubt, the basic essence of this noble campaign tagged ‘Let’s Give Peace a Chance’ is to sensitize Nigerians on the need to allow peace govern our collective and individual conducts.
At this juncture, it is pertinent to remind ourselves what peace really entails. Peace means freedom; a feeling of comfort; freedom from war and terror. Peace is necessary for the existence of this world. The absence of peace in any region of the world is responsible for the deaths of many people and the resultant consequence is ruination on all fronts. Peace is necessary for life, for living and for happiness. As desirable and crucial as peace is to development, in Nigeria, this vital commodity has been under severe pressure in recent times as a result of hate speeches, ethnic agitations, divisive politics and an unspeakable number of crimes and criminalities.
That peace has taken flight from Nigeria is already an open secret. And that Nigeria is currently in the vice grip of anarchy is not by happenstance. Even a piece of iron that goes rusty by oxidation had external agents acting on it. So, the failure of Nigeria as a nation is a product of our collective efforts. Caught in the vortex of avoidable crisis of unimaginable proportions as it were, which is precipitated essentially by the youths, Nigerians, according to the late Pa Alfred Rewane, are ‘’no more hoping for a better tomorrow but mourning for the loss of a better yesterday’’.
One major fundamental cause of the crisis buffeting Nigeria today is the rabid attachment to our tribe, religion and ethnicity, which explains why the former Senate President Chuba Okadigbo said: ‘’If you are emotionally attached to your tribe, religion or political leaning to the point that truth and justice become secondary considerations, your education is useless; your exposure is useless. If you cannot reason beyond petty sentiments, you are a liability to mankind’’.
It is equally sad to note that Nigeria today is in deep morass; we are at crossroads. Things are getting nastier and nastier. There is so much duplicity, so much opportunism, so much selfishness and so much double talk. With assassinations, kidnappings, ritual murders, armed robbery, communal crisis, killings by herdsmen attaining frightening dimensions in the country, there is the urgent need to support this current move by the Peace Corps of Nigeria to promote peace in the country.
To underscore how important and essential Peace is in the affairs of mankind, Mahatma Ghandi once said, ‘’Eye for an Eye can only make the world go blind’’. Also, Albert Einstein said “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” So, understanding that peace and security are cornerstones for the sustainability of democracy and development of the country is crucial.
It is on this note that PCN is rolling out this wonderful prgramme and urging all and sundry to intensify efforts to end conflicts of all kinds and promote peace and harmony. This noble programme being unveiled today by the Organization is actually in sync with the efforts of our Armed Forces and Other Security Agencies to tame insecurity, especially terrorism, kidnapping, farmers/herdsmen clashes etc, which is heightening tension in our dear country.
This effort, if supported by all and sundry, will ultimately create an atmosphere of peace that will be a sin qua non.