REFLECTIONS – IN SEARCH OF PEACE & PEACEFUL CONDUCTS — MEMORABLE QUOTES:
At inception, one of our objectives, as a responsible and responsive organization was stated as the promotion of peace and peaceful conducts. We also promised to contribute our quota to the evolution a modern NIGERIA, within our God-given endowments, and promote active partnership of the citizenry with Government. With God helping us, we still stand committed to our objective of contributing to the advancement of Nigeria by managing this platform for exchange of ideas and representations. Let us agree that there is no society that is perfect. Even the foremost democracy, the United States has occasionally been enmeshed in controversies arising from flawed elections. However, citizens of those climes that we imitate have been able to at least enforce their fundamental human rights by choosing their leaders peacefully, putting their nation first, above all other considerations.
Regrettably, democracy has been the greatest loser in the sad developments in our dear nation. If the truth must be told, we have indeed gotten to a crossroads in the arena of political transition with the relative ease with which all political parties now perfect the art of rigging or winning elections at all costs. Values, principles and goals of the electorate are now different from those that have historically shaped electoral decision-making from the ward to local government, up the strata to the topmost level of government. The popular saying now is: ‘’What have you brought for me before campaigning’’? SHAMEFUL!
INTERCESSION – WE CONSTITUTE ROUGH EDGES PUNISHING OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS: God has been too kind to us. We have spiritual fathers and leaders who have consistently interceded for our nation. I believe and suspect, that by our actions that are disturbing, we have forced them back into their prayer closets, to ‘’punish’’ them again by pleading with God on our behalf. The Abdulsalami Abubakar Committee of Peace definitely has a huge work on its hands. Has it ever occurred to us in the elite and political groups that if we conduct ourselves illegally, we would build weak structures for younger elements who will take over from us? Will all who come out to participate in the coming election or are at the background respect laws guiding electoral contests? Posterity is waiting to judge all of us, for our individual and collective roles in our attempts to build a greater Nigeria. If only we all could come out and say and act that we will allow Nigeria to take precedence over and above our personal interests. That is the way history could record us on its positive pages.
SAY NO TO MISCONDUCTS & VIOLENCE – INEC: INEC has continued to warn the electorate NOT TO COLLECT MONEY or BRIBE in order to vote. Security agencies have also appealed to all and sundry not to flout laws and regulations. Will security agencies live up to expectations by ensuring that the law does not respect anybody participating in the election? Will the rule of law that makes all equal before the face of the law apply? Let us all cooperate with INEC and law enforcement agencies to hold a credible election with law enforcement agencies enforcing and applying the full sanctions and bring the full weight of the law to bear on culprits. As– Rigoberta Menchu once said: ”Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.”
HERE ARE SOME MEMORABLE QUOTES – The quotes are strong enough to open the ears of the proverbial hunter’s dog (POLITICIANS GENERALLY) to hear the whistle
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” — Harry S. Truman 33rd president of the United States
‘’The way politics is played in this country frightens me every dawning day. ‘’It is a fight to finish affair. ‘’Nobody accepts defeat at the polls.” – Late Hon. Justice Niki Tobi of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
‘’The Muhammed Lawal Uwais Committee on Electoral Reform has found that election mindsets are one of the critical elements that determine the success of electoral practices; and the election mindsets of Nigerians are not only largely negative; they are also largely irrational.” — The Hon. Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, CJN retd.
”Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.” — Rigoberta Menchu
‘’I am convinced, and I want you also to be convinced, that the future of this vast country must depend, in the main, on the efforts of ourselves to help ourselves. This we cannot do if we do not work together in unity. Indeed, unity today is our greatest concern, and it is the duty of every one of us to work, so that we may strengthen it. This morning, I said in the House of Representatives that bitterness due to political differences would carry Nigeria nowhere, and I appealed to the political leaders throughout the country to control their party extremists. ‘’To you who are listening tonight, I repeat that appeal — Let us put away bitterness and go forward in friendship to Independence‘’ — Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; In his in his first speech as the Prime Minister of Nigeria, 1957.
“Violence has never been an instrument used by us, as founding fathers of the Nigerian Republic, to solve political problems. In the British tradition, we talked the Colonial Office into accepting our challenges for the demerits and merits of our case for self-government. After six constitutional conferences in 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960, Great Britain conceded to us the right to assert our political independence as from October 1, 1960. None of the Nigerian political parties ever adopted violent means to gain our political freedom; and we are happy to claim that not a drop of British or Nigerian blood was shed in the course of our national struggle for our place in the sun. ‘’This historical fact enabled me to state publicly in Nigeria that Her Majesty’s Government has presented self-government to us on a platter of gold. ‘’Of course, my contemporaries scorned at me, but the facts of history are irrefutable. ‘’I consider it most unfortunate that our ‘Young Turks’ decided to introduce the element of violent revolution into Nigerian politics. No matter how they and our general public might have been provoked by obstinate and perhaps grasping politicians, it is an unwise policy.’’ — Nigeria’s first Ceremonial President, Nnamdi Azikiwe
‘’We must continue to expect disagreements among people, as wrangling or contention has a human trait, which will be exhibited under all, and any circumstances. “Even if all our problems were solved by God in one go, with all mankind having enough to eat and to wear; decent houses to live in, sound education, good health, happy homes, big cars, political freedom, godly and truly public-spirited rulers to administer our affairs etc., we will still argue among ourselves, at least, as to why God should bestow His bounty so generously on everyone!” — Obafemi Awolowo; in one of his publications: ‘My March Through Prison’ published by Macmillan Nigeria Publishers.
‘’Violence never settles anything right: apart from injuring your own soul, it injures the best cause. It lingers on long after the object of hate has disappeared from the scene to plague the lives of those who have employed it against their foes.’’– Obafemi Awolowo
“I have one advice to our politicians. ‘’ If they have decided to destroy our national unity, then they should summon a round table conference to decide how our national assets should be divided before they seal their doom by satisfying their lust for office. I make this suggestion because it is better for us and for many of our admirers abroad that we should disintegrate in peace and not in pieces. Should the politicians fail to heed this warning, then I will venture the prediction that the experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be a child’s play if ever it comes to our turn to play such a tragic role”. – Nnamdi Azikiwe – in his dawn address to the people of Nigeria in his capacity as the ceremonial president in December 1964, immediately after the dissolution of Parliament
“In the final analysis, the Nigerian tragedy has been bedeviled by a set of oppositions: generalized, stereotype, not necessarily of the same order and may be imaginary, yet each widening the wound and reducing the hope of healing it: north vs south, Islam vs Christianity, alleged feudalism vs assumed socialism, Federal vs unitary preferences, traditional authority vs achieved elitism, haves vs have-nots; each with sinister undertones of tension, irreconcilability and threatened withdrawal. “Each opposing set of these forces, had sufficient seed of truth within it to permit, and even fertilize the growth of feared fact from the semi-fiction of its existence. ‘’The search for the roots of the disaster of 1966, through the first military incursion into Nigerian politics, and subsequent destabilization of the political scene could be directed at the aforementioned factors; each sufficient to erupt into a political volcano.’’ – British Historian, AHM Kirk-Greene in his book: ‘Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria’.
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” — Albert Einstein
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” — Nelson Mandela
“Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Nigeria’s dry bones will surely rise again. That is the promise of God. And God cannever lie.
You are free to circulate this post if you are convinced that it could at least touch a soul today and promote peace.