Agenda For Peace With Mr.rights: 2015 Election: No Alternative To Peace
As the 2015 election approaches, let us serve as the agent of peace and be against violence. We should educate the public that Irrespective of who emerges in the 2015 election as a result of peoples choice, only in a peaceful environment can we enjoy the dividend of democracy.
In the beginning of the world, there was peace, but when human erred, there was conflict. History tell us that, conflict is inevitable in human existence.
Conflict could be personal, group or national. It could also be political, religious or economic. However, irrespective of the causes of conflict, we must always strive to prevent conflicts from becoming negative.
Before the establishment of United Nations in 1945, there was no universal human rights and as such, there was massive conflicts across the globe. At that time, might is by law right, as rich people are allowed to be purchasing fellow humans as properties. powerful individuals are capturing the weak and selling them as slaves.And also, strong nations are invading other territories, annexing, enslaving and colonizing the people.
As a result of the above mentioned inhuman practices which dominated the world all over,powerful nations make gains, rich people dehumanize the poor,strong oppress the weak and the world was engulf in conflict and struggle for survival. Nations were struggling for independence, individuals for liberty and human dignity and races for equality and self worth. It seems after all, there was no end insight to the numerous bloodshed, pain and agony around the world. The world was plunged deep into hatred and war until the second world war which caused massive human and capital destruction far beyond what was ever witnessed in human history.
More than ever, the world came to the realization that, there is no alternative to peace. Hence, the birth of the United Nations.
The United Nations Organisation, coming on the failure of the League of Nations is committed to maintaining international peace and security. The world powers realize that, without peace, life cannot be worth living and to take a step towards achieving global peace, a universal human rights was given birth to and it contain certain rights and privileges that should be enjoyed by every human irrespective of their location,race,color or religion.
Since the establishment of the United Nations, It is worth to note that, while global war in form of direct state confrontation had drastically reduced as a result of the efforts of the world body, new internal conflicts in form of tribal, religious and political conflicts have taken over the global scene, posing as much if not more danger than the second world war. For example, the boko haram insurgency in Nigeria has claimed over 13,000 lives. Also, the upcoming 2015 election has attracted some verbal threat of war and confrontation between some of the major political parties and their supporters.
Let it be noted that, war doesn't just occur out of the blues. War happen after crisis have been sustained. But crisis don't just happen, it occur as a result of either personal or group conflict.
This brings to the question, what is conflict?
By definition, the word 'conflict' is a concept synonymous with human behaviors. Since man can not exist in isolation, then in the course of interactions with other members of the community, there will be disagreements, intrigues and misunderstanding. The reasons for the conflict may be as a result of cheating or struggle for a beneficial goal. However, irrespective of what led to conflict, if such conflict is not properly resolved, it could metamorphosed into hatred, which makes crisis prone in the society.
According to the Chinese, Conflict is defined as an opportunity plus danger.
Conflict is an opportunity in the sense that, if conflict is managed properly by the conflicting parties, it could become a source of growth, development and transformation. This is why a Yoruba adage says,''ti aba ja, aki re'', meaning that, ''if we do not quarrel, our friendship may not be strengthened''.
Therefore, if we are looking for a more closely relationship with people, conflict is inevitable. Just as if we are looking for growth and development in the society, conflict is inevitable. We must therefore work to always ensure that should conflict occur between us, we must never allow it to be negative. Conflict can be positive and beneficial depending on how we handle it.
On the other hand, conflict could be dangerous. The danger in conflict may arise as a result of improper management of personal or group misunderstanding.
However, every individual needs peace, even the most violent people among us need peace. It would interest you to know that, the violent people are violent because they believe through violence, they can attain peace. In their mind, violence is a way to peace. This believe can be seen in the ancient Greek proverb which states that, ''if you want peace, prepare for war''. But unknown to them, a violent situation can only begot more violence. Violence is a situation of error. If one error is not corrected, it leads to more errors. Therefore, we must show the world that violence can never lead to peace. if you want peace, you must give peace.
Peace is not what any individual, organization or government can give the people, peace can only be attained through the attitude of every individual.
It is important for us to examine that personal attitudes, values, and knowledge provide the basis for working toward peace. While almost all of us want peace and prefer to live and work in an environment that is peaceful, few of us have bothered to identify the elements that foster peaceful living. We have seldom given thought to what types of beliefs, traditions, attitudes, and values lead to peaceful coexistence and social harmony. We have also not devoted quality time to ruminate on whether it is possible to have global peace if we do not personally have peace in our lives as individuals. While on the one hand, peace is an end to be sought, it is also a condition of many achievements. In a nutshell, for us to live a fulfilled life, there is no alternative to peace.
Often times, Government, military and police usually parade themselves as peace keepers, but such notion is not entirely true.
Government, military and Police can only ensure security,they can not guarantee peace. Peace is beyond the capacity of any security agency or government, security is not peace, peace is a personal attitude.
The best a government can do to ensure a peaceful society is to invest in massive peace education. Peace cannot be enforced, it can only be developed by education and constant deliberate entanglements and sensitization. Through peace education, individuals would understand the dynamics of social conflicts, warfare, conflicts resolution and peace.
Security is a situation when individuals, groups or a country is protected from violent attack in whatever form. It is a situation where individuals can go about their daily lives without fear of being attacked. It could also be described as tranquility pertaining to an individual's sense of himself or herself, as being “at peace” with one's own mind. But peace is beyond security. Peace is first of all an internal affair, it is a situation where every individual live in peace within themselves.
According to some scholars, peace is “what we have when creative conflict transformation takes place non-violently”. In the case of the United State's Department of Justice, peace is: “ a process of responding to diversity and conflict with tolerance, imagination, and flexibility; fully exercising one's responsibilities to ensure that all fully enjoy human rights” (1996: D-2)
During the Cold War, big powers claimed they were trying to secure the peace in the world by stockpiling sophisticated weapons. What this means is that, they need to pile up weapons that will be used in destroying others who threaten their interests. (Faleti, 2010). How such an attitude can be called 'peace' is not easy to understand but it probably followed the ancient Roman proverb that says “If you want peace, prepare for war”, but peace is something far more positive. It has been described as the tranquility of order. If well understood, the phrase contains a great piece of wisdom that lawlessness and disorder destroy external peace and bring about disturbance of minds and hearts and leads to the loss of tranquility. We thus see tranquility of order bringing about a certain tranquility of mind and heart. (Faleti, 2010).
Therefore, we should spread the messages of peace across Nigeria and not the threat of war.
In the preamble of the constitution of the UNESCO, it is written that “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed; that ignorance of each others ways and lives has been common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the people of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war.
On this note, I appeal to all those threatening war should a candidate loss the election to desist from such threats. There can only be war if we allow such an unholy thought cross our mind, we must not allow it prosper. Lets give peace a chance because in war, both the victor and vanquish are losers. We should all remember, there is no alternative to peace.
If we insist on war, its more like insisting on losing because in war, no body wins. So,why insist on losing when we could all win?
As we awaits the emergence of a winner in the forthcoming general election, let us all rally round who ever emerges from a transparent election and ensure that such individual deliver on their electoral promises.
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