Editorial

NIGERIA NEEDS PEACE NOT WAR

This is not a bad time to start a serious work at the peace of Nigeria. One reason peace has eluded the country for so long is that the appreciation for the notion of peace is too poor. And there is no President or Head of state who has ever espoused the virtue of peace. None has pursued it. What has been reigning all along is impetuosity. It is thought that the use of crushing force, power and violence are the only means to peace. Most minds here are focused on war or the annihilation of the opponent, that odious and primitive code of tooth – for – tat in human affairs.
The closest this country came to lasting peace since 1914 was at Aburi, during the war. At the end of it when Ojukwu fled “in search for peace”, it was also a chance to win the peace. The national conference, organized by Goodluck Jonathan, was another chance too. Those chances were all lost. But there is yet another golden opportunity: if the federal government will de-freeze the time-honoured and well thought-out decisions the conference produced, and faithfully and transparently implement them.
But the leaders have this consuming proclivity for militarism which may not let them utilize the wonderful strokes in the report of the national confab to douse Islamic insurgency, for Biafra agitation, the militants and corruption. If this can be done, we might expect a salutary effect on the other woes of the country. Many minds would be pacified.
The Federal government has often talked of loots, looters and looting in admission that we have been in a situation of riot and chaos. There is the need to actually douse the flames of discord. The President should call for a truce and unilaterally impose a ceasefire everywhere there is shooting, followed by peacemaking/keeping gestures. That will be the way forward.
The Christian Voice endorses strongly that a new urgency be breathed into broad peacemaking moves all over the country. Through re-structuring which former vice-president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme recently advised, peace is achievable. Since a consensus is building for once in the country on such a sensitive subject, it is only a pointer that the spreading conflicts cannot be left to smoulder. If allowed, it tends to ignite with a bang. And the reverberations will travel far beyond the flash-points. The anger in the land is too much. The anticipation for war is huge. People are worried.  Nigeria’s greatest need today is peace. Peace please now!

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