By Emiko Perea
In commemoration of the 2020 International Day of Peace, a UN holiday that strengthens the ideal of peace by ending violence and calling for ceasefires, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria held campaigns and conferences under the theme: “Shaping Peace Together.” As part of the program, over a hundred people consisting of religious leaders, traditional leaders, women, and youth converged at the Palace of the Emir of Garki in celebration of the international holiday with the mutual desire for peaceful coexistence.
Reverend John Joseph Hayab, the country director for GPF Nigeria appealed to Nigerians to welcome peace for the development of the country and to spread the message to the streets and villages. He said, “Efforts for peace will not work if there is the exclusion of some people as a result of politics, ethnicity, religion, or gender. It will not work because everybody has a role to play for peace to reign and exclusion will not enhance peace in our nation.” He also explained that if people failed to embrace peace, the country will continue to suffer while extremists spread havoc within the nation.
Reverend Hayab commended Emir for being a man of peace and encouraged His Royal Highness and the people in his community to work to bring peace among the community groups. In response to this, the Emir of Garki called for everyone to embrace peace irrespective of tribe, religion, and gender as “one family under God.” The Emir called on the politicians, religious leaders, and citizens to be open for dialogue for peace to begin. He explained that Nigeria belonged to everyone there and allowing peace would bring positive things to them, but without it, they endure many problems. The Emir of Garki and his subjects expressed their support for GPF Nigeria to excel in the future.
The other leaders from the event also expressed their support for GPF Nigeria’s message of peace. The Director of Youth, Women, and Education, Rev. David Amos Wetben stated that peace is the most important thing the world needs now and the theme of “Shaping Peace Together” is a call for collective effort, therefore the responsibility lies with us. Meanwhile, The Imam Mabushi, Sanusi Suleima, concluded that GPF Nigeria’s peace-building program would foster unity in the community through their various campaigns. He made the personal promise to preach the message of peace in the Mosque.