Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Kwara State, Mr. Olusegun Adeyemi, has canvassed that Nigerians should take an oath of speaking peace and stick to their words particularly at time like we are in Nigeria when many are easily moved to speak hate speeches.
Adeyemi, speaking at the public presentation of a book, Recipe for Peace and Good Governance, urged politicians to prevent crisis and conflicts by eliminating hate speeches pointing out that most of the uprisings, tribal wars religious crises and ethnic clashes Nigeria has experienced in the past can be traced to intolerance and a series of hate pronouncements, hate speeches, hate conducts and hate actions by leaders and citizens.
He said, “It is quite painful to note that some Nigerians continually fail to recognise the indispensability of the concept of peace, good governance and nation building and the significance of peace to nation building hence they engage in hate speeches and conducts which are capable of igniting crisis and fanning the embers of war.
“I am convinced that Nigerians, especially at a time like this, must take an oath of speaking peace and permanently stick to our words.”
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While asking Nigerians to research the importance of peace to nation building and good governance, the NOA boss also asked Nigerians to desist from inordinate financial expectations from Christian political office holders but rather to help them live above board so that the electorates can have the moral justification to hold them to account.
While asking Nigerians to assume responsibility for their political fortunes, Adeyemi said, “it is apparent that for us to have peace in our society which provide the foundation and enabling environment for good governance, individuals must pay beyond lip service and put in concrete effort which would eventually help us build a virile, healthy, and desirable nation where everyone can prosper and excel.”
At the event, Governor AbdulFattah Ahmed, asked relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state to assess the contents of a book with a view to recommending its usage in selected institutions of higher learning in the state and beyond.
The governor expressed confidence that using the book would have a rub-off effect on the present and future administration in the state, describing the author, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu as one of the government functionaries helping his administration to foster peace among Christians and Muslims in the state.
Ahmed who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said his administration has promoted one of the core values espoused in the book, good governance that is largely inclusive and has largely ensured massive infrastructure development across the length and breadth of the state, for which Kwarans have become the better.
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Earlier in his own speech as chairman of the occasion, Gold had noted that Fawenu, the current Special Assistant on Religion (Christian Affairs) to Governor Ahmed has broken a jinx by his publication.
According to Gold, since the advent of the current administration in the state, no public officer in the civil service has published and presented such a book particularly that will centre on a central subject of peace and good governance.
He said, “As we are all aware, Fawenu is a deeply religious man who has veered into politics not necessarily by design but by mere coincidence and as a necessity.
“He is a man who has not allowed political situation to becloud his thinking but has considered it appropriate to put his thoughts together for political good.
“The area he ventured into is indeed paramount to the development of the state because peace is a recognised panacea for good governance.”
He, therefore, challenged politicians in the state to follow the example laid by the cleric, noting that ‘beside politicking we can also contribute to knowledge in crucial areas as seen in this work on peace and good governance.’
In his review of the book, journalist and cleric, Pastor Biodun Oyeleye, noted that the postulations presented by the author on the involvement of Christians in politics “is strong enough to deal with the problem of perception about Christians and politics and if applied capable of ending our years in the wilderness of politicking.”
He noted that for Christians to still hold that they cannot engage in politics because it is a dirty game would be a refusal to fulfill the scriptures. According to Oyeleye, “If we say that politics is dirty, then where is our calling as indicated by our saviour in the scripture that says we are the salt of the earth?”