A call has gone to Nigerians to prioritize Peace and Unity irrespective of Tribe, political, religious, and ethnic differences in order to live in Peace with one another for a progressive future of Nigeria, as 2023 General Elections approaches.
This call was made by the Vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday at a one day High-Level Conference hosted by the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI), in Abuja, with the theme, “Nigeria’s National Unity in the buildup to the 2023 General Elections”
Represented by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Osinbajo warned Nigerians of all classes against breaking the bond of unity and peace existing in the country.
Osinbajo while applauding AANI for organising an impactive High-Level Conference, to bring together major stakeholders in the country to brainstorm on National Unity in Nigeria, noted that the outcome of the conference will change the narrative of Nigerians to seek peace amidst the country’s growing insecurity, violent extremism, and ethno-religious crisis, especially as Nigeria approaches 2023 General Elections.
In his words, “Peace is the foundation of enduring prosperity and for peace to reign everywhere in Nigeria, all of us as Nigerians must make necessary sacrifices”.
Earlier in his welcome address, National President of AANI, IGP MD Abubakar (Rtd) explained that the unity and progress of any society is a collective responsibility and governments at all levels, as well as all communities, organisations and individuals, must commit to building a country of it’s dreams which according to him anchored on accountability, equity, diversity and inclusion, which define the reality and heritage as a people.
According to Abubakar, there must be a comprehensive strategy and aggressive advocacy to stabilize the polity and promote a proactive agenda for the development of Nigeria.
AANI president, while commending NIPSS for contributing immensely in addressing Nigeria’s developmental challenges, by engaging in research and advocacy that had proffered several recommendations and implementation strategies, on virtually all aspects of political, social and economic lives, Abubakar stressed the need for a policy framework for the implementation of the research findings and recommendations from NIPSS, many of which are left to gather dust on the shelves.
“This resulted in stunted economic growth which promoted poverty, unemployment and crimes that snowballed into insurgency, kidnappings and armed conflicts in many parts of the country. These misfortunes are threatening our unity, security, economy and all aspects of our daily lives”, he noted.
AANI sees the Conference as a means of providing opportunity for stakeholders to hold frank and dispassionate discussion on the magnitude of the challenges facing the country and participate in developing adequate recommendations and a realistic road map, for their implementation.
On his part, former Chief of Defence Staff, and former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Peacekeeping, who also doubles as the Keynote Speaker, General Martin Luther Agwai, CFR suggested that for a nation to have stability and development it must transform and reduce the threats to its national security by concentrating its efforts on increasing human security which encompasses human right, good governance, access to education, good healthcare and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his or her own potential.
General Agwai however noted that good governance that will provide national value and integration, human security and eliminate/contain the root, Causes of insecurity. Nigerians needs to take conscious steps towards enthroning responsive leadership “and demanding action against insecurity through every means permissible in a democracy.
According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor who was represented by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations Major General Yekini, Irabor assured Nigerians of military unflinching support to ending the insurgency and insecurity bedeviling the Nigeria, as the military is on top of it’s game to restore back peace to the country.
Also speaking at the conference, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III who is the Chairman of AANI Heritage Council, stressed the importance of unity, noting that coming together to solve crisis, issues collectively in love and identifying the community or ethnic problems is half solved.