Osun NSCDC marks International Day of Peace, preaches against racism
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
As the world celebrated the International Day of Peace on Wednesday, security experts have said Nigeria would enjoy peace once every citizen is given a sense of belonging in the nation’s project and shun discriminations.
At a public lecture organised by the Peace and Conflict Resolutions Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command, with the theme: “End Racism, Build Peace”, Nigerians were urged to desist from racism attitudes and consciously maintain harmonious relationship with people from other tribes, colour and languages.
Delivering his speech, the State Commandant of NSCDC, Sunday Agboola said, “achieving true peace goes beyond laying down of arms. It requires a conscious and deliberate attempt to build societies where all and sundry enjoy a sense of belonging, a society devoid of all forms of discriminations.
“NSCDC Osun State Command aligned with the ideology of the United Nations to celebrate the Peace Day in order to enjoy a world where we are all are treated equally, regardless of colour, race, language, religion, ethnicity, beliefs, ideas, even social, political or economic affiliation.”
In his lecture entitled: “End Racism, Build Peace: The Role of NSCDC in the Fight Against Racism for National Peace Building,” the guest speaker, Professor John Agbonifo, a Director, Global Affairs and Sustainable Development Institute, Osun State University, Osogbo, called on NSCDC personnel to see civil rights as personal rights of members of the public devoid of unlawful discriminations.
He said, “such discriminations could be on the basis of skin colour, ethnicity, religion and disability,” and therefore, enjoined NSCDC further to build close ties across the society.
The security expert urged law enforcement personnel to, “see citizens as fellow citizens who have issues, who need help. Many of them have information to help you deliver on your core mandates, so, reach out to people. This is the only way you can end racism and build peace.”
Agbonifo also made it known that a society could only be peaceful if the people desire it adding that, “if we desire a society of peace, we must do away with violence and we must not discriminate against anyone.”
In her remarks, the Head of Peace and Conflict Resolutions Unit, Deputy Commandant Esokawu Charity Oluchi emphasised that peace is everybody’s business which must be embraced by everyone.
A traditional ruler in the state, Oba Micheal Odunayo Ajayi, Elerinmo of Erinmo-Ijesha advised everyone to shun racism, saying there is unity in diversity. He advised Nigerians to embrace equality and equity as these govern both the high and low, the weak and the strong.
The celebration which started with a road walk in the morning featured goodwill messages from other stakeholders as well as Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa cultural displays.
A statement by Adeleke Kehinde, Acting Public Relations Officer of the corps revealed that some personalities were conferred with Peace Ambassador Award for their unrelenting resolves to make Osun free of racism and discrimination.
The awardees are Yeye Modupeola Sanni Adeleke of Yoruba community, Alhaji Ibraheem Dende of Fulani community, Mr Akunne Samuel of Igbo community and Alhaji Abdulraheem Abdulraheem of Hausa community.