TODAY is International Day of Peace. Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to remind people the importance of building a culture of peace and strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
As Nigeria joins the world to celebrate this day, we need to be aware that Nigeria is still wallowing in a series of crises that has reduced the level of peace in the country.
According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2021, Nigeria ranks 148 out of 163 countries in the World Peace ranking.
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies. The GPI covers 99.7% of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains:
– the level of Societal Safety and Security,
– the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict,
– and the degree of Militarisation.
The GPI shows that the state of peace in Nigeria is very low. On the snapshot of the global state of peace 2018, Nigeria is represented by a red colour which indicates that its state of peace is very low.
The Boko Haram Insurgency which began in 2009 has caused massive displacement of people in the North East part of the country.
Aside the Boko Haram insurgency, clashes between farmers and herders has caused so many deaths and displaced a record number of people in the Middle Belt part of the country.
Women are forcefully made perpetrators of violence through the recruitment of new members, the promotion of violent organizations’ objectives or through suicide bombings. This involvement may be due to a range of factors, including the desire for revenge or for redemption through individual sacrifice. Poor living conditions, lack of education, professional opportunities and broad marginalization of women.
According to Global Terrorism Index, the Fulani herdsmen undertook more attacks and were responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram in 2016. These two deadly groups are the biggest security threats Nigeria has been battling over the years. Although, Nigeria has been ranked sixth in the 2022 global terrorism index (GTI), an improvement from the fourth position it was since 2017, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in Nigeria to push it towards being a peaceful nation.
To avoid future occurrences and to aim at retaining peace, the government of Nigeria should show commitment in mobilizing the armed forces and also provide adequate security. There is also the need for special rehabilitation and trauma centers in the affected states, especially for women and children who have had terrible experience or witness during the insurgency period
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, encouraged nations to live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race.
He said that “peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty, oppression and can thrive and prosper.”
As we celebrate this day, let’s give peace a chance to reign in our country. Let’s always remember to walk with peace and conquer the world with love.