Home Free REFLECTIONS – WHAT GREAT NIGERIANS SAID ABOUT PEACE & DIALOGUE

REFLECTIONS – WHAT GREAT NIGERIANS SAID ABOUT PEACE & DIALOGUE

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TERRIFIC HEADLINES’ is an advocacy, public enlightenment and feedback activity designed to lift the spirit of Nigerians to higher levels of excellent and patriotic performances, as citizens’ collaborate with government to evolve more promising ways of constructing a ‘New Nigeria’ through commitment, dedication, patriotism, peaceful conducts and dialogue, as key ingredients of unity, peace, stability, and development.

TOWARDS BUILDING A TRULY GREAT NIGERIA:  ”A good head and a good heart, are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela.

WHY WE MUST PROMOTE TOLERANCE & DIALOGUE Clearly, something is wrong when everybody thinks the same way about issues, events and conducts of personalities, given the principles of objectivity, subjectivity, as well as selective perception and retention that combine to shape human thoughts. Therefore, our publications are always in good faith and, in recognition of virtues and values that are worth reading and recording for posterity.  We conduct our agenda-setting and feedback activities by communicating; and providing the platform for communicative feedback to our audience, through ideas and representations on how to CONSTRUCT A TRULY GREAT NIGERIA with the active partnership of the citizenry with Government.  Please reflect on, and enjoy the following inspiring and memorable quotes:

MEMORABLE QUOTES: On July 15, 1959, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Pan-Africanist, Nigerian political activist and governor, Eastern Region delivered a memorable speech at the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at the Polo Grounds, New York, United States.  Excerpts from the address: ‘’I was born in Northern Nigeria, where the boundaries of the country lie on the verges of the Sahara Desert, and where the majority of the inhabitants worship God according to the tenets of Islam, and where the camel caravans still ply to and fro in their various missions across the desert to the Middle East. I was educated in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria and a great seaport, where the ships of various nations anchor to trade with us. When the Ministerial system of government was introduced into Nigeria, I represented Lagos in the Legislature of Western Nigeria, where I still reside, in spite of my temporary absence in Eastern Nigeria.

‘’My parents are natives of Eastern Nigeria, the arsenal of republicanism in Nigeria. Although I am Ibo, yet I speak Yoruba and I have a smattering of Hausa. I am now Premier of Eastern Nigeria, the land of my fathers, which lies five hundred miles from Lagos and almost a thousand miles from the place of my birth in Zungeru, in Northern Nigeria. Each of our three Regions is vastly different in many respects, but each has this in common: that, despite a variety of languages and customs or differences in climate, all form part of one country which has existed as a political and social entity for fifty years. ‘’Our people are essentially democratic and our major political parties are working hard to establish parliamentary democracy in Nigeria. Having experienced the tutelage of British rule, we have learnt to appreciate the traditions of constitutional government, and we are all geared to continue the rule of law and respect for human dignity, on the attainment of independence in Nigeria, next year, as we are successfully doing today. ‘’As far as I and my Party are concerned, we shall continue the difficult task of inculcating a sense of oneness in our people so as to crystallize common nationality. We believe in the creation of one country and we will always eschew the idea of breaking Nigeria permanently into three or more divided and weak units, which would be innocuous as a factor to be reckoned with either in Africa or in the community of free nations. ‘’I speak in this vein because, like many other Nigerians, I have lasting connections with all the three Regions which now form the Federation of Nigeria.’’

 WE MUST ALWAYS EXPECT DISAGREEMENTS ‘’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

 LET’S PUT AWAY BITTERNESS 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 NEVER SETTLES ANYTHING RIGHT –OBAFEMI AWOLOWO: 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

 WE NEVER SHED HUMAN BLOOD – NNAMDI AZIKIWE “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.’’  — Nnamdi Azikiwe

                                                                                             NIGERIANS FREE TO LIVE ANYWHERE IN NIGERIA “If anybody or group of persons plans negative attack on Igbo, he or they should attack me first, because I am against the so-called ultimatum issued by the Arewa youths that Igbo should leave the north,” – Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar

HUMANITY OWES WOMEN A DEBT THAT CAN NEVER BE REPAID Yes, it is time to examine the past with courage, to assign responsibility where it is due in a review of the long history of humanity. Women have contributed to that history as much as men and, more often than not, they did so in much more difficult conditions. I think particularly of those women who loved culture and art and devoted their lives to them in spite of the fact that they were frequently at a disadvantage from the start, excluded from equal educational opportunities, underestimated, ignored and not given credit for their intellectual contributions. Sadly, very little of women’s achievements in history can be registered by the science of history. But even though time may have buried the documentary evidence of those achievements, their beneficent influence can be felt as a force which has shaped the lives of successive generations, right up to our own. To this great, immense feminine “tradition” humanity owes a debt which can never be repaid. Yet how many women have been and continue to be valued more for their physical appearance than for their skill, their professionalism, their intellectual abilities, their deep sensitivity; in a word, the very dignity of their being! – POPE JOHN PAUL 11

“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’.

 ‘’The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence. Nigerians love freedom and hate oppression. ‘’Why do you do it to yourselves? …. ‘’What do young Nigerians think about your leaders and their country and Africa? Do you teach them history? Do you have lessons on how your past leaders stood by us and gave us large amounts of money? You know I hear from Angolans and Mozambicans and Zimbabweans how your people opened their hearts and their homes to them. ‘’I was in prison then, but we know how your leaders punished western companies who supported Apartheid’’. – NELSON MANDELA – In a conversation with Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; retired Permanent Secretary, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; published by Sahara Reporters.

TERRIFIC HEADLINES — WHAT WE STAND FOR: Our major goal is to contribute to the emergence of a TRULY GREAT NIGERIA by identifying and promoting the necessary ideals, as well as encourage contributions of conscientious and dispassionate commentators, creative counsellors, and sincere intellectual advocates of development, through inspired reasoning, that could aid policy formulation and implementation. The major essence is to promote Good Governance, generate feedback for the government and the governed, and encourage peace, unity, stability, and progress of Nigeria.

OUR FOCUS

  • Inspire Nigerians to embrace a culture of peace and unity; as well as political changes and institutional reforms, as drivers of a more prosperous society,
  • Promote matters that are in public and national interest, particularly Good Governance as the recipe for advancement& national stability
  • We will strive to promote only issue-based discussions based on merit, national and public interests, fair play and justice
  • Engage in public enlightenment activities to discourage perpetration of social vices and criminal activities; and a low-profile agenda.
  • Reflect Nigeria’s image positively in the international community. Purveyors of news in the advanced world feast on negative and catastrophe information about Africa.
  • Promote measures that could guarantee smooth democratic transitions, and the sustainable growth of civil democratic governance.
  • Contribute to global efforts at addressing imbalance in information flow.

OUR AGENDA, as highlighted above, will be guided by the following:

  • Provide a platform for patriotic contributions to moves on how to reposition Nigeria for greatness
  • Influence the citizenry for positive contributions
  • Encourage the people to care more about democracy, and promote better understanding of their importance as the key components of governance and MASTERS of the political and bureaucratic class.
  • Encourage fulfilling of obligations of the government and the citizenry as contained in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)
  • Encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate fully, in the process of developing Nigeria.

WHAT WE WILL NOT ENCOURAGE: We are persuaded that well-meaning people must act responsibly and subscribe to the style of advancing superior arguments, which is a virtue of democracy. Therefore, people must engage in discourse in order to achieve common goals and agenda. We discourage the authorities from engaging in acts that bottle up emotions. In achieving the foregoing, we shall discourage demeaning statements, and promote conscientious commentators, creative counsellors, and sincere intellectual advocates of development.

THIS IS OUR INTIATIVE & CONTRIBUTION TO NIGERIA & GLOBAL PEACE; VOLUNTARILY MADE AS AN ACT OF PATRIOTISM – NOT INFLUENCED OR PROMPTED OR SPONSORED BY ANY INDIVIDUAL, ORGANIZATION, OR GOVERNMENT. WE BELIEVE THAT IF WAR ERUPTS IN NIGERIA (GOD FORBID) THE WHOLE OF WEST-AFRICA IS GONE; AFRICA WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY AFFECTED, AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL FEEL THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF DISLOCATION TO PEACE IN A COMMUNITY INHABITED BY 200 MILLION PEOPLE. LET US REASON AND DISCUSS.

 

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