SGF, Kwara First Lady, legal icons preach peaceful coexistence in Nigeria

**All bag African Peace Magazine Award

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Kwara State First Lady, Ambassador Olufolake Abdulrazak, jurist and eminent lawyers, among others on Thursday night converged on Abuja to discussed the importance of peace in nation building and development.

They all leveraged on the platform of the annual prestigious award ceremony of the African Peace Magazine UK Award held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel at the nation’s capital to examine threat to peaceful coexistence in the country and proffered solution aimed at strengthening the gains of Nigeria’s diversity.

All, among others were awarded different categories of award at the colourful ceremony that featured cream of personalities across different section of the society.

Celebrated jurist, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Suleiman Galadima retired justice of the Supreme Court set the tone for discussion in his opening remark.

Justice Galadima said peace is a process that affects every aspect of human race without which cannot be existence not even to talk about development.

The jurist stressed that it is the duty of every human being to strive to achieve and maintain peace at all time.

He added that government at all levels owes provision of security and maintenance of peace as primary responsibility.

As an organization, Justice Galadima commended African Peace Magazine to dedicating its publications and activities to peace, adding that this led to the resolution to honour dignitaries that have contributed to engendering peace in the society.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha examining the theme of the 2021Award which is ‘Peace in Africa and Accelerating Nigeria Economy Post COVID -19 submitted that “addressing African peace and security in a sustainable manner has been an herculean task”.

Represented by Mr.Paul Kanu, a deputy director in his office, the SGF commended Nigerian youths for promoting peace the creative and entertainment industry.

Mustapha said despite general exclusion of the youth in decision making in the country, they devoted their energy to creative and entertainment.

The SGF lauded the Buhari administration for signing the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill into law to enhance youth participation in politics.

Wife of the Kwara State governor, Ambassador (Dr) Olufolake Abdulrazak lamented that numerous peace initiatives launched in Africa collapsed.

The career diplomat said “no fewer than 15 African countries are currently engulfed in crisis due to absence of peace” while stressing that economic and social development of the affected nations have been severally hindered.

The First Lady canvassed for true reconciliation and conflict resolution to bring perfect peace to the African continent.

She said her non – governmental organization is devoted to human development through peace initiative programmes.

She said the organization has impacted positively on not less than 20,000 people in Kwara State while she commended the office of the Kwara State governor for support.

Dr. Mrs Abdulrazak also commended the African Peace Magazine for embracing peace in Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Competition & Consumer Protection Council, Mr. Babatunde Irukera said if truly maximized, the diversity of the Nigerian society should be a great asset to the nation.

He said “it is sad that today Nigerians are so engrossed in divisive tendencies such as ethnicity and religious polarisation which is gradually reducing peace and unity of the country.

“To bring about peace, parochial interests should be thrown overboard”.

Six panelists discussed various theme of peace. Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN categorically said “Africa is not ready for peace”.

The legal luminary said,except ethnicity, tribalism and religious bigotry are jettisoned, there can never be peace.

“Collectively we must pursue peace”, he said.

Chief. Jubrin Okutepa SAN in his submission said the greatest problem of Nigeria as a nation is total disregard for rule of law and due process.

“There is complete psyche of impunity . Nigeria is in a state of nature. Until we respect rule of law and there is sanction,Nigeria will continue to be in crisis”, he said.

Other panelists are; Chief Mike Ozekhone SAN, Mrs.Aladetoyinbo Oluwatoyin and Mr Emmanuel Allicious Sam.

Various categories of awards such VIP Award, Regular Award and Online Award were given eminent personalities at the event.

Listed on the VIP Award were two former Nigerian Presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of Ghana, Nana Addo Akufor, former president of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Koroma, Vice President of Liberia, Dr Jewel Taylor, First Lady of Nigeria, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, First Lady of Namibia, Lady Monica Geingos, First Lady of Kwara State, Ambassador Olufolake Abdulrazak, Dr. Mrs Sarah Jubril and Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Others include, Hon. Justice Suleiman Galadima, Chief Akin Olujinmi,Chief Mike Ozekhone, Chief Jibrin Okutepa, Mr Babatunde Age Babalola, all Senior Advocate of Nigeria and an American based Sierra Leone national, Emmanuel Sam who is a youth peace development advocate.

The Editor in Chief of African Peace Magazine UK, Mr Noel Ajare expressed gratitude to those that contributed immensely to the success of the event.

He said the organization will continue to recognize and appreciate personalities who have contributed to peace process in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Ajare promised that the organisation will keep the flag flying and sustain the annual award despite all odds and challenges.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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