Group calls for introduction of peace education in Nigerian
To ensure peaceful coexistence and conflict resolutions in Nigeria, The heavenly culture for world peace restoration of light (HWPL), a nongovernmental international peace organization, has called for the introduction of peace education in Nigerian curriculum at a symposium held at university of Lagos, Faculty of law.
HWPL is a non-governmental, international peace organisation, founded by a war veteran and registered in 2013 under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) with over 20,000 members. It is not a religious organization, but one whose main aim is to promote war peace.
At the event, Peace education in Nigeria towards the adoption of the declaration of peace and cessation of war (DPCW) was discussed. Dr. Babatunde Oni, a professor of law, University of Lagos and HWPL chairman advisory council, talked about the ideology of HWPL’s Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) and the importance of introducing peace studies into Nigeria’s curriculum is to instill tolerance and stop war.
“The declaration of peace and cessation of war booklet contains ways of solving problems and policies stopping people from fighting war. The booklet is different not different from the United Nations charter. Other countries have peace studies in their curriculum, if we can introduce it from the primary to tertiary level, it would instill tolerance and patience and stop religious or tribal war,” he said.
Dr. Pius Adejo, a lecturer and also an expert on peace and conflict studies, spoke on the need for peace education in Nigeria and the necessity and the reason for the violence in society today.
“Discussing peace is a necessity in Nigeria today, because coexistence has been almost impossible. Nigeria has a culture of violence, which can be traced back to our history. Different people with different cultures forced to become one entity and there has always been competition for dominance.
“Our long history of military rule and decadence of our post colonial rule is also a reason for our violent culture. Peace education seeks to change the mindsets with the hope of promoting understanding, respect and tolerance, so there would be understanding in our differences. Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice. Conflict cannot be entirely eradicated because people profit from it, but it can be reduced.”
Although the push for peace education is important, Dr. Akintayo Akinola, a speaker at the event discussed challenges to peace education in Nigeria, like prevalent widespread poverty, lack of qualified personnel and infrastructures.
According to him, “Peace cannot be preached to a poor man, because a hungry man is an angry man, not only that, but it is likely to impede their access to peace studies, due to lack of resources. The Nigeria State has even lost the moral high ground to include peace in its curriculum, looking at the different conflicts in different parts of the country, where they reject dialogue and the promotion of violence by our leaders, as an instrument of power.
“There is a lack of institutional and infrastructural facilities to carry out this study. We have peace studies franchise in university of Ibadan and also an initiative to begin in University of Lagos as well, but to preach peace we have to do it as a much advanced and global setting than what that capacity can provide. We have also the question of qualified personnel and disconnect between what we have on ground and the kind of initiative we are trying to push forward.”
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