The Global Peace Foundation Nigeria on Monday called on all Nigerians to embrace the culture of tolerance for peace building and national development.
The Country Director of the Foundation, Rev. John Hayab, made this call in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2020 International Day of Tolerance celebrated every Nov. 16.
According to him, all hands must be on the deck to change the narrative coming out of the country on social, ethnic and religious intolerance, saying this would help to correct the negative impression globally.
Hayab noted that tolerance was a challenge that a lot of people battled with, and as such, reflected in daily dealings with people and destabilising interpersonal relationships.
He said that marking of the day was an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of tolerance and the need to celebrate the diversity of the society.
He added that Nigerians ought to celebrate its diversity and use it for the benefit of all, saying current trend of division and clashes would not do the country any good.
“Tolerance enables you learn a new thing from another person, even when you assume that the person is foolish, out of that foolishness will emerge something beneficial.
“We can see the lack of tolerance when you see how people drive you need tolerance to relate with everyone, tolerance to understand the other person, because no person is the same with another.
“This is what the world needs today, and all the crises all around is from lack of tolerance, we must learn to tolerate one another, no matter the diversity”.
The country director said the group would continue to engage all stakeholders, especially the youths to be agents of peace and promotion of tolerance.
The Northern Coordinator of the Organisation, Sheikh Abdullahi Maraya, noted that the day was set aside by the UN through UNESCO to promote tolerance, saying analysis from the first and second world wars showed that it was triggered by intolerance.
According to him, tolerance is the ability and willingness to respect and glorify any opinion and thinking disliked by you.
He said the day was aimed at generating public awareness about the significance of tolerance and to educate people about the negative effects of intolerance.
“The world currently is experiencing frictions and conflicts, leading to loss of lives and properties, attributes to lack of tolerance.
“Once people have decided to accept what they consider as not theirs, once people have decided to allow any opinion or any thinking which is not theirs to be in existence, definitely, the world would be devoid of clashes, frictions and conflicts.
“We have to do all we can to respect different opinions and thinking which we consider averse to ours.”
He noted that if the trend of intolerance is imbibed, such society would lack people, calling for love for others and upholding the sanctity of fundamental human rights at all times.
He urged Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another, regardless of any social differences, saying peaceful coexistence was the only fundamental requirement for socioeconomic development.
Newsmen report that the Global Peace Foundation convenes and implements development projects on peace building, education, entrepreneurship, and youth leadership development.