Commemoration of World Peace Day Calls for Reflection on Peace and Unity in Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria. September 26th, 2017 – The United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace was observed worldwide on September 21st. The day aimed to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples and also to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace all over the world. The theme for 2017 was “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” and it honoured the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life. This year, the International Day of Peace focused on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.[1] 

In the light of this, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, during this year’s celebration stated that in time of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats, therefore people must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”[2] 

In commemoration of the 2017 World Peace Day, NOIPolls reflects on some findings from its past Polls on security and conflict in Nigeria, highlighting the negative effects of terrorism, conflicts and insecurity on the populace. For instance, one of its polls on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), conducted in February 2015 in partnership with Social Welfare Network Initiative, revealed a rising number of IDPs in the country resulting from ‘Terrorist attacks’ (75 percent) in the North-East region (98 percent) and flooding (18 percent) in the North-Central (Markurdi).

Furthermore, the series of conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in the recent years have also led to the destruction of lives and properties. The Southern Kaduna crisis in December 2016 was another major conflict which had a negative impact on the lives of the Kaduna populace. Similarly, the struggle for an independent state by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), recently proscribed by the Federal Government as a terrorist group, has led to mass protests and killings in the South-East. 

NOIPolls therefore urges all Nigerians to embrace peace, as it is always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Finally, in the words of Dr. Bell Ihua, NOIPolls CEO, “all Nigerians are encouraged to be ambassadors of peace… and it is also important for constituted authorities to consider more strategic options in dealing with conflicts and violent extremism”. These options should generally include dialogue with emphasis on fostering unity in diversity. Government is also urged to take critical steps towards eradicating poverty and enable the environment for job creation. This is because, from several poll, we have identified that two major factors often responsible for crime, extremism and insecurity are poverty and unemployment. If these two factors are tackled, particularly amongst the youth demographics, it would go a long way in ensuring sustainable peace and development. 

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. 

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking. 

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[1] http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

[2] http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/21/international-day-of-peace-this-years-theme-and-events-explained-6944347/

[1] http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

[2] http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/21/international-day-of-peace-this-years-theme-and-events-explained-6944347/