Published On: Mon, Sep 19th, 2016

Peace is like oxygen, but tragically, it is in short supply.

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paul-boroh-pixStatement by Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme on the September 21, United Nations International Day of Peace.

On this 2016 United Nations International Day of Peace also known as the World Peace Day, the human race needs to reflect on its very survival. Peace, like food, is one of the most essential  needs of humanity, yet in most parts of the world, it is in critical short supply; lack of peace  is no different from famine as both have the same debilitating and tragic consequences for human survival.

While in most parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, peace has become   endangered species, almost the rest of humanity is experiencing one form of terrorism or the other, be it local or international.

To ensure the cultivation of peace in Nigeria, the Federal Government introduced and has maintained in the Niger Delta, the Presidential Amnesty Programme which is a master piece strategy for peace. Although it comes at a great price but no effort is too much to ensure peace. The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should be commended for keeping the Programme on track and for its iron clad determination to exterminate terrorism in the country particularly by the Boko Haram Sect.

A period like this is an important one for all Nigerians to spare a thought for our internally displaced compatriots in the North East who have been the victims of Boko Haram terrorism. I urge Nigerians and the international community to join the Federal Government in resettling the displaced families and rebuilding the North East.

Let me state that peace is not given and must not be taken for granted; it is like crops that need to be planted, watered and cultured  with care before it can germinate and be harvested; I urge all  Nigerians to work for peace  by sowing its seeds all over the country. There are armed groups in some states willing to disarm and I appeal to the governments of such states to emulate the Benue State government that has in place a comprehensive amnesty programme. The Federal Government alone cannot carry out such a programme in every part of the country.

Also, we need to build a culture of tolerance and debate in the country; we need   schools to inculcate the spirit of peaceful resolution of issues in children and for our tertiary institutions to establish courses in Peace Building, Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

On a general level, it is in the interest of humanity to resolve conflicts and build peace because, like the refugee crises and the tidal waves of immigrants falling on European shores have shown, crisis in one part of the world has implications for peace in all parts of the world.  All human beings should be peace advocates and fight collectively for a world at peace with nature and itself.

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