The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has called on all combatants in the country to a ceasefire on September 21 across the country.
The Director-General of the Institute, Bakut tswah Bakut in a statement on Sunday, said September 21 is set aside by the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration as the International Day of Peace or World Peace Day through Resolution 55/282 of 1981, asked combatants across the country to ceasefire on the day.
Bakut explained that Peace Day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences, and contributing to a culture of peace despite prevailing challenges.
The Director-General while disclosing that the theme for this year’s celebration; “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”, noted that it was inspired by the global challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively affected all strata of the population, including those caught in conflict settings because of their vulnerability to the vagaries of the environment and lack of access to healthcare.
He said: “In line with the United Nations’ annual appeal for the observation of non-violence and cease-fire, the Security Council’s call for a ‘sustained humanitarian pause’ to local conflicts and the prevalence of violent conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution has begun consultations with state and non-state actors to strategize on modalities for conducting impactful activities for the recovery and mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic and violent conflict in Nigeria.”
He noted that of particular importance this year is the localization of the global call and practice of observing Ceasefire and non-violence on the 21st of September every year by combatants or parties in conflict. This also aligns with the African Union (AU) programme of “Silencing the Guns”.
He said: “We are reaching out to and calling on all peace-loving people, the civil society including faith-based groups, traditional and religious leaders, statesmen, women, youths, and media peace networks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Security Agencies and Development partners to leverage their mandates and areas of operational presence and influence to take action towards realizing a ceasefire or non-violence, especially on the Day of Peace.
He said: “By this call, we are asking every Nigerian to take responsibility in their neighbourhoods, communities or groups to make peace happen through peace-building activities such as peace sensitization, peace advocacies, peace talks, arts, sports, dialogue, and mediation, either online or offline. It should be noted that in social relations, conflict is inevitable and may be necessary for peace to occur.
However, conflict becomes negative, destructive, and costly to all when they become violent. It is our utmost conviction that peace is possible with a non-violent approach to dispute resolution. We, therefore, call on all parties to dispute across the country to deploy the use of dialogue and a non-violent approach to resolving their conflict.
“We encourage all Nigerians to use the upcoming Peace Day celebration on 21 September 2021 to spread compassion, kindness, tolerance, hope, love, and peace for sustained recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and violent conflict. We have begun listing activities by stakeholders all over the country to track responses and impact.
The Institute’s Facebook account is also open to receiving all recovery and peace-building activities by stakeholders for documentation and global visibility of local efforts towards realizing the theme of this year’s Peace Day, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”