By Frank Meke.
For three days last week in Jos, the Plateau state capital, erudite scholars from Nigerian universities, engaged participants on the role of Women and Youths on Culture, Peace and National Security.
It was a no holds barred exchange of well thought-out and researched papers, some laced with practical street experience, not minding sentiments usually associated with national discourse on issues of peace and national security.
Am not a fan of our Professors and egg heads from the academic environment ,but having been part of this open and sincere solution driven suggestions on how we can get our country back to the roads to unity and national cohesion, no doubt the conviction to join the roundtable talks, took a defined and definite center stage for me.
To avoid the burial of certain notable submissions and possibly give us insights to the positions canvassed by the erudite scholars who graced the occasion, I have clearly marked some their thoughts for tomorrow’s introspection particularly on the Theme of this confab” Culture Peace and National Security: The Role of Women and Youths” put together by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Conjunction with UNESCO.
It is however touching and regrettable that just a few days after this gathering, seeking answers to the many socioeconomic, Cultural and ethnographic issues troubling us and impacting on women and Youths, Jos again boiled in violence.
That sad incident, washed away the shine and national media gain for the state, which has done so much to bring about peace and unity among its various ethnic nationalities. Be it as it may , we owe it a duty to chronicle some of the highpoints unveiled at the conference. Please archive these timelines, hoping that Nigerians and our leaders can learn one or two lessons as we forge ahead to in grind our culture as part way to peace and progress.
“We cannot just gather faculties and Professors without pushing for targeted Cultural training and retraining for the Youths. In every national developmental agenda, Women and Youths must be in the forefront of the communication ecology and until that’s done, we shall be struggling to achieve peace and national security'” Professor Ama Doki Benue state University. He spoke on ” Towards empowering Youths as Agents of Peace and National security.
The steps by women to end conflicts could be labeled as deliberate steps towards non violence by women. Gary( 2002) in his best selling book” men as from Mars Women from Venus opined that women are relationship oriented: more concerned with expressing their goodness, love and care -( while) men are more interested in “objects”and “things” Professor Mabel Evwierhoma , University of Abuja. She spoke on “Culture of Peace and Non Violence in Nigeria, The role of women and Youths.”
“The quest and struggles for resources leads to the marginalization in the society, particularly against Women and Youths” Professor Rahanatu Lawal from Ahmadu Bello University.
“The National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security is the flagship programme of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, conceptualized in the year 2012 to draw national attention to the critical importance of peace and security to national development and to sensitize stakeholders to their role in fostering peace and security in Nigeria” Mallam Ado Yahuza DG NICO
“It started in 2019 as an armed rebellion of a religious group against the government with the ultimate aim of establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria. The group ( Boko Haram) was against any form western education and has caused thousands of deaths among the military and civilization population in Nigeria,. it’s activities have led to destruction of infrastructure, kidnapping for ransom, scarcity of food, inability of children to go to school” Professor Femi Omotosho, Ekiti state University. He spoke on “Cultural diversity management and national security in Nigeria.”
“I am pleased to inform you, that one of the measures the state government has taken is to institute a FORGIVENESS DAY as a platform to sensitize our people to sink their differences and embrace peace which is a sine qua non for the growth and development of the state.” Plateau state governor, Barrister Simon Bako Lalong.
“It is gratifying to reassure Nigerians that the administration of of His Excellency, President Muhamandu Buhari ( GCFR) is committed to ensuring that no stone is left unturned to end insecurity in Nigeria. He has promised to use everything within his constitutional powers to end insecurity in Nigeria and bring the criminals and their sponsors to justice. Mr President will keep his words.” Honourable Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in his welcome address during the opening ceremony of the conference in Jos.