us troopIf you were to ask any average Nigerian what the Nigerians need most, he will likely say ‘Peace!’ if you should ask any African what the Africans need most, he will surly say ‘Peace!’ even at the international level, the world leaders are presently meeting at New York for the 2014 UN General Assembly. The most prominent issue at the ongoing General Assembly is how to restore peace in most of the warring nations. It will also interest you to know that the world has just celebrated the International Day of Peace.
From all indication peace has become an ‘essential commodity.’ The world cannot do without peace. It is indeed an ultimate value that is costlier than gold. It is one of the essential values which money or even power cannot acquire. If it is possible to acquire peace with money or force the world Super “Powers” would have acquired and distributed them to other nations that are in dare need of it. Unfortunately one cannot give what he does not have.
Last Wednesday evening, the President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama said at the ongoing UN general Assembly that “Peace is not just the absence of war but the presence of a better life.” Hence, even in most nations where there is no war peace is needed. Obama even said that the United States of America is also in need of Peace. He went as far as pledging that “America would not give up in the pursuit of peace.” As long as peace is concerned no nation, not even America has arrived. St. Augustine rightly said, “Our souls are restless till they rest in God.” Peace comes from God and God alone, who is the ‘Prince of Peace’ and the Lord of lords.
President Obama sounded so optimistic that the war against terrorism can easily come to an end. How? You may ask. For him, the only language the terrorist understands is the language of force. No amount of dialogue or negotiation can solve the problem of terrorism. According to him terrorism can only be curtailed through military force. One interesting thing Obama acknowledged is the fact that peace is not just the absence of war but also the presence of good living. Hence, Prevention is far much better than cure.
During his presentation at the UN National Assemble President GoodLuck Jonathan noted that terrorism has indeed disrupted peace and security in Nigeria. A group that call themselves Boko Harram has being terrorizing Nigeria, especially during his regime as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He reported with much regret that over two hundred girls that were kidnapped since April this year by the Boko Harram sects are yet to be found.
Apart from the issue of terrorism and insecurity another challenge facing Nigeria was the outbreak of the Ebola Virus. The good news, according to President Jonathan is that the Federal government and medical workers were able to manage the Ebola challenge. In fact, the President declared emphatically at the UN general Assembly that Nigeria is Ebola free! This attracted rounds of applauses from the General Assembly. This is indeed good news for all Nigerians. This should go a long way is solving the problem of fear and discriminations that were caused by the fear of Ebola.
From all indication, nothing has ever threatened the inner peace of the Nigerians as the Ebola virus. Some hospitals that were not fully prepared were even rejecting suspected patients because of the fear of ebola. There were so many myths surrounding the ebola virus. Some churches went as far as stopping their members from shaking hands with their fellow members. Almost everyone in Nigeria became a suspect. The Nigerian Golden Eaglets were even repatriated from Gabon because of Ebola. Thank God, with the declaration of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria these fears and suspicions will become a thing of history in Nigeria.
As for the issue of war and insecurity; although the world leaders strongly believe that the only way forward is physical war against terrorism. Nigeria has already launched war against Boko Harram.  There was claim even that the leader of the Boko Harram sect has been killed. One thing that is not clear but obvious is the number of innocent people that have lost their lives in this war. When two elephants fight it is always the grass that suffers. Prevention is better than cure! Before any group or any nation could engage themselves in a war something must have triggered off the war.
One of the obvious causes of war is uneven distribution of recourses. Most people are feeling cheated. In a situation where the winner grabs it all, the opposition parties will never be happy. Instead of carrying everyone along, jobs and other political appointments are distributed among the ruling parties. In the case of Nigeria, Boko Haram was never an issue in Nigeria. During the last presidential election there were open threats that if Jonathan becomes the President of Nigeria they will make Nigeria ungovernable. That is exactly what is happening today!
The only way to guarantee a lasting peace in Nigeria is through justice and equity. Those in power must carry everyone along. Allocations and appointment should not be based on the tribe or the political party one belongs. If we truly believe that we are all Nigerians irrespective of our political parties, religion and tribe, we should be ready to treat people with equal respect.
Members of the opposition party have their own role to play in the restoration of peace. Instead of making the present regime ungovernable those concerned should cooperate with the ruling party. Moreover, where there is life there is hope. The ruling party today may not be the ruling party tomorrow. The hand of the clock must continue to revolve round. Those ahead today may not be those ahead tomorrow. If the nation is however destroyed today there will be no nation to inherit tomorrow.
We don’t need anybody to tell us that unemployment is a major cause of war in Nigeria and across the glob. Most of the people that engage in these insurgencies are unemployed youths.  An idle mind is devil’s workshop! Since the nation have refused to create employment for the timid young graduates the agents of destruction have decided to employ the youths for destructions of lives and property.
One major cause of war, especially the war in Nigeria is the problem of Immorality, Injustice and Corruption. The Boko Harram in Nigeria claims that the Western form of education is a major cause of immorality and crime in the society; according to them, it is through the Western Education that children are exposed to pornography, indecent dressing and all forms of immoral behaviours in the society. Respect is reciprocal.
In as much as we encourage civilization we should not loose the sense of the sacred. The human body remains a sacred sanctuary. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20). Exposition of the human body, especially the sexual organ which is traditionally referred to as ‘private part’ is indeed a humiliation and degradation of the human dignity.
Most religious fanatics frown at this kind of education. The worst thing one can do to a Muslim woman is to expose her body in the public. Some Muslim women even go as far as covering their faces because of the reverence they have for the human body. Anything contrary to this practice can easily lead to jihad that is ‘holy war’ as in the case of the Nigerian Boko Harram.
I will strongly appeal to world leaders to consider a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity and terrorism. We should be as objective as possible. Instead of launching an endless war against religious fanatics, we should be humble enough to look critically at the concerns of these fanatics. Some of the demand of these fanatics may look so barbaric; however, there are two sides to every coin. Virtue, according to Aristotle, lies in the middle. Absolute freedom without morality and discipline can easily lead to anarchy, which is the case in our society today.
A critical assessment shows that as the world is becoming more secular the more schools are becoming corrupt and immoral. For instance, in those days when the early missionaries introduced school to Nigeria, there was room for moral instruction but these days sex education and pornography has taken the place of moral education. Most developed nations now see moral instruction as a form of indoctrination; but whatever be the case, let PEACE reign!