Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for tolerance and promotion of a mindset of inclusiveness among Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups to create an enabling environment for growth and societal advancement.
The governor, who said this in commemoration of the International Day of Living Together in Peace, marked every May 16, by the United Nations, said that the imperative for peaceful co-existence is to engender development of the country without the fissures of parochial or self-perpetuating considerations among the country’s different ethnic and religious groups.
According to him, “We have come a long way as a country and it behoves on us to preserve the legacies of the founding fathers of Nigeria. Much as it is obvious that we have lingering problems and the challenges that threaten our resolve to live together, it is important to know that much can be achieved if we stick together, discuss the basis of our co-existence, agree on reforms that will foster unity and forge ahead with a clearer sense of purpose and direction.”
“In Edo State, we have demonstrated this by agreeing on certain principles that assure the greatest good for all. It is this constant negotiation of our expectations and the deployment of resources to attain them that we arrive at consensus that make us a strong, united force.”
He noted that the country will be better off if there is a constant negotiation on the basis of coexistence, stressing that only such arrangement will put paid to pockets of agitations from different parts of the country.
According to the United Nations, “The UN General-Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilising the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.”
“The declaration came about as a result of the long-held and cherished concept — contained within the Constitution of UNESCO — that ‘since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed.’ The Declaration embraces the principle that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process, in which dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation,” the International body said.