The Network and Advocacy Group of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation organised a Town Hall Meeting to celebrate the 2021 World Dialogue Day, known more fully as “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development,” with the theme: NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND THE IMPERATIVE OF DIALOGUE, on Friday May 21, 2021.
The Executive Director, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Fr George Ehsani, who was one of the panelists, said the importance of this for Nigerians cannot be overemphasized, as it provides an opportunity for citizenss to deepen their understanding of the importance of dialogue as an ongoing engagement in a culturally, religiously and politically diverse society such as our own, and at such a crisis moment as we are presently going through.
He said there is the need to listen to each other, and to genuinely seek to understand each other’s feelings and perspectives; and where there are serious differences of opinion, to respect the right of the other person or group to express such opinions.
Other panelists at the event include Dr. Goke Adegoroye, Uju Obuekwe and Hauwa Abbas. They expressed serious concern over the manner in which Nigeria is today so thoroughly divided, quickly descending into anarchy.
They expressed the view that our diversities can be better managed for the benefit of all, rather than being seen as cause of so much tension, division and violence in the land. They identified the absence of justice and equity in the present political dispensation, and the widespread sense of exclusion, among the factors fuelling the ongoing ethno-religious tension.
They therefore called on the government quickly change its present grandstanding posture and listen to the complaints and demands of the people. They called on all Nigerians to always choose the path of dialogue when there is any misunderstanding, so as to avoid violent escalation of such misunderstandings.
Finally, they emphasised the critical role religious, traditional and community leaders can and should always play in the enormous task of promoting peaceful coexistence and national integration.
The Town Hall meeting which was held in the Event Hall of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, is one more in a series of programme interventions of Lux Terra in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation, which are aimed at advocating for justice and equity, as well as promoting conflict management, peace and national integration.
(SOURCE: CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE OF NIGERIA)