Opinion

Fighting Terrorism, Insurgency, Political And Religious Violence

. . . Focus of All World Leaders

By Livinus Nnebedum

Political violence resulting from election malpractices, terrorism, religious upheaval, insurgency, hunger and wars are some of the major threats to peace and security across the Nations of the World.

Nigeria had witnessed numerous crisis.

Some of these crises include:

  • Bombing at Eagle square in Abuja on October 1, 2010 where some people were killed who came to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Nigeria Independence.
  • Bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Madalla near Suleija in Niger State on Christmas day 25th December 2011 leading to destruction of lives and properties.
  • Attack on United Nations Building at Abuja in August 2011.
  • 2011 post-election violence in Kaduna State resulting from presidential election in which many properties and lives were destroyed.
  • The massacre of 12 Adazi-Nnukwu citizens of Anambra State in 2012 at Mubi, Adamawa State which is a national concern and disaster.
  • Jos crisis where many buildings, vehicles and lives were destroyed especially that of 2010 and 2011.
  • Benue crisis in 2001 where 19 Nigerian soldiers were killed.
  • Nigeria civil war of 1967 to 1970.
  • Bomb explosions at Suleja Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office killing many people including NYSC members in April 2011 on the eve of National Assembly election.

The Boko Haram attack on Nigerians had been more frequent in the past at Borno State, Bauchi, Kaduna, Mubi, Yola, Abuja and many other parts of Northern States. The Kidnap of 200 school children called Chibok girls from Borno state is still very fresh in our mind.

Outside Nigeria many countries of the world had witnessed many crisis. There was civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone. There was genocide and crime against God and humanity during the First World War 1914 to 1918 and Second World War of 1939 to 1945. Atomic Bomb was used at Hiroshima in 1945 and destroyed every living things in that place and the effect of that bomb is still there today. Atomic Bombing at Hiroshima in Japan in 1945 brought about the end of 2nd World War that lasted for 6 years. In that 2nd World war over 50 million people were killed, among them were 6 million Jews. In 1991, there was Gulf war in Saudi Arabia. On 11th September 2001 there was terrorist attack on World Trade Centre in New York.

There is need to control these threats of national and international concern, What are the solutions to world peace and security among nations of the world? Let us search for peace and security starting from the grass-root to the top. If there is peace in every family it will extend to the village levels, community, local government, state, national and inter-national levels across the world.

Can prayers for peace stop terrorism, kidnapping, wars and insurgency? There is need for inter-denominational prayers and meetings for dialogue among different religious leaders in every community in Nigeria. This prayers should also be organized and held in all the local government headquarters in Nigeria. This again should be extended to the state level in all the 36 state capitals. At the national level, it should be held at the Federal capital Abuja. All the religious should be involved like those of the Christendom-Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals etc, the Islamic religion (the Moslems), the Traditional Africa religion and all other religions in existence.

It should be recalled that many of the World’s religious leaders met at Assisi in Italy in Jan. 2002 to pray for peace. This was a step towards bringing global peace. This was also after the Sept 2001 terrorist attack in New York. The prayer meeting was announced by Pope John Paul II and many religious leaders accepted it with enthusiasm. It should be recalled that many journalists across the World came and monitored the 2002 prayers. Many religious were represented in the prayers for peace namely; Catholics, Anglicans, orthodox, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judanism, Traditional Africa religion etc Delegates from other religious apart from above named ones as well as representatives of the World Council of churches were also present.

Pope Johnpaul II had sought for World peace during his time. He had visited some African countries including Nigeria. He was in Nigeria in Feb 1982 and again visited Nigerian in March 1998. His quest for World peace took him to Palestine in the Middle East. It is on record that he was the first Pope to visit the mosque. Let us remember the words of Pope John Paul II, “Violence never again, war never again, terrorism never again, in the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth justice and peace, forgiveness and life, love.”

At International level, there is need to organize on regular basis International Conferences to examine the remote and immediate causes of terrorism and proffer a panacea. This should be done in pari pasu with inter-denominational prayers and meetings for dialogue among religious leaders across the World. This prayer meetings is expected to be far better than the one organized and held in 2002 at Assisi in Italy.

In Nigeria there is need for National Conferences and dialogue by all past and present leaders in Nigeria, political party leaders, all Religious Leaders focusing on National Security and peace talks.

This type of meetings should be extended to continental level involving African countries and their leaders. In fact all countries of the World should be involved in World peace talks and security. Global peace security should be the focus of attention of all World leaders.

Mr. Livinus Nnebedum, a Public Affairs Analyst writes from Anambra State Agricultural Development Program (ADP)

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