Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has called on Nigerians to play their roles in ensuring peace in the country and across the world.
He made the call on Saturday while addressing an audience at the second edition of the Second General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture organised to commemorate the International Day of Peace in Minna, the state capital.
The former Head of State informed the gathering that his greatest dream and hope was to have a peaceful and united Nigeria.
He, therefore, called on the people of the country irrespective of their political and ethnic background to be tolerant of one another and urged the youths to shun violence.
“A lot has been said about our role in making peace. It is my prayer that peace reigns not only in Niger State, not only in Nigeria, not only in Africa; but indeed, the world over.
“Each and every one of us here, as it has been said, has a role to play and I hope we will play that role.”
Speaking as the guest lecturer at the event, the state governor, Mr Abubakar Bello, highlighted the importance of dialogue in tackling the security challenges in the country.
According to him, military intervention in the nation’s security challenges is not necessary except dialogue fails.
The governor identified population explosion and lack of clear cut grazing routes as catalysts for most of the security challenges in the country, as reflected in the clashes between farmers and herders.
He commended the Abdulsalami Institute for Peace for its efforts in promoting peace in the country and called on other eminent Nigerians to contribute their quota towards Nigeria’s development.
Governor Bello also advocated the engagement of traditional rulers, especially village and district heads in peace-building and conflict resolution process, noting that they are closer to the people.
He decried that situation where many eminent personalities, including those in active public service, have become complacent and doing nothing to proffer solution to the challenges in the country.
The governor described some politicians as bad people who promote violence and unhealthy rivalry and asked them to desist from acts capable of disrupting the peace and progress of the country.
He alluded to the Rwandan genocide and the Civil War in Nigeria as clear examples of what could happen to a nation when eminent citizens channel their efforts in the wrong direction.
Governor Bello, therefore, urged Nigerians to see good in themselves and the nation, stressing that no investor would come to a country where the citizens do not see anything good about themselves.