Following agitations for restructuring of Nigeria, some youth groups on Monday urged individuals and groups behind the agitation to act within the confines of law.
At a forum organised by a youth group, NaijaDay Foundation, in Lagos the youths said that conflicts would be resolved better through dialogue than violence which could waste lives.
The forum had the theme “Significance of Peace and Unity in Nigeria’’,
Mr Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, Director, Prisoners Right Advocacy Initiative, urged the agitators to desist from hate speeches to avoid overheating the polity.
”We all possess innate weapons to fight intolerance and hate; let’s use them.
”Rather than fight ourselves, we must fight that peace will reign. It is impossible for all of us to agree on the same thing but it is possible for us to be tolerant of one another’s views, ” he said.
Adetola-Kazeem appealed to Nigerians not to share every post on social media, noting that some posts were aimed at causing discord among Nigerians.
He said that the citizens should be armed with correct information to avoid gullibility.
Mr Yusuf Aweda, Director, Center for Human Rectitude, appealed that clerics should use religious platform to promote tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
Aweda said that religious leaders should also use the platform to promote building of good homes.
”Good homes results in adorable communities; good communities make good states. Good states make a good nation, ” he said.
Aweda said that religion should not be used to promote corruption or frustrate government efforts at eradicating corruption.
According to him, a nation that does not protect its common wealth may never grow.
In his remarks, Mr Lekan Fatodu, a United Kingdom-based journalist and Convener of the forum, said that it was necessary to make peace a national mantra.
Fatodu added that the federal, state and local governments should put in place a machinery to inculcate good behaviour and harmonious relationship in the citizens.
”It is high time we made peace a national mantra in Nigeria given the current agitations for secession, devolution of power, resource control, restructuring and other concepts that are clearly threatening the unity, stability and peace of the nation, ” he said.
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