.As Speakers lament absence of Peace, sue for Peace.
By Frederick Peters, KADUNA
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA– The Zaman Tare project of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, has ended a festival of Art as part of activities to mark/celebrate this year’s UN International Day of peace, with the theme ” Recovering Better for an equitable and sustainable World”
The celebration was the grand finale of a 3- day activities in the communities, held at the Kaduna state university, which attracted government officials, Religious, traditional rulers, faith-based organisations, CSOs, Women and youths leaders among others
The Arts festival featured an array of celebrated and upcoming musical and Visual artists, Poetic and drama display and lots more.
Speaking at the event, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Man- Oso Ndagoso, said what our nation needs now than ever is Peace ” you know that, if there’s, anything our country needs today is Peace and off course
” we are celebrating the international day of peace, adding that that the Zaman Tare project, sponsored by the European Union, EU, ” is to enable us live together and we know that the absence of Peace is what has brought us where we are today as a country”
According to the revered cleric, whatever any one can do to ensure that we are able to live together peacefully as brothers and sisters regardless of differences in our cultural, religious and social status, should be done, ” and that’s what Caritas Nigeria and CAFOD are trying to do” he said, while calling for hands on deck to achieve that.
Ndagoso also admonished political and Religious leaders against inflammatory utterances which he maintained is capable of destroying the Peace, while urging them to do more for the common good rather than for their states or regions
He further lamented the absence of Peace in our country owing to banditry, insurgency and general insecurity bedevilling the Nation,saying ” no one sleeps with his eyes closed, because the basic commodity every nation needs to grow and develop is absent” He then commended the artists for expressing the message of Peace in the most basic ways, ” he added
Similarly, the Dangaladiman Wazirin Zazzau and District head of Gabasawain Kaduna north local government, Shittu Ibrahim Dikko, said his message is for us to love each other as we love ourselves and the need to always try to stay together anytime, anyplace and anywhere.
According to him, there’s a need to relive and reinstate the life of togetherness that existed in the past across religious, cultural divides “what we need to do is to put ourselves together and go back to the old- days, let’s train our kids on how we lived in the past ” so that interreligious and intercultural interaction be reinforced.
He further called on political leaders to watch their utterances not to make a bad situation worse adding that while reacting to comments they should be cautious to enhance Peace and tolerance in the state and country.
While giving the Welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Kaduna state University, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, represented by Professor Evelyn Hauwa Yusuf, Director of gender studies of the institution, thanked the Zaman Tare project for their collaboration and scholarship grants to students of the university doing research works.
While lamenting segregation of Kaduna communities on religious and cultural lines, called for unity and peaceful coexistence among the various ethnic and religious groups, maintaining the need to think right and do right at all times to move state and country forward.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator, Zaman Tare, Barrister Cletus Aloke, said the occasion is to mark the International Day of peace, actually slated for 21st September ” But we started this event/ celebration from the communities and today we are doing the grand finale, where we gathered all the communities together
” to use the instrumentality of Arts to celebrate Peace, we are using this opportunity to gather all our arts grant recipients, who produced art works that depicts Peace to come and entertain the people and as you can see that the event has ended well” he added
Speaking on this year’s theme, saying ” basically, it has to do with Covid-19, it’s a theme that was chosen all over the World, but if you look at from our point of view in Nigeria, you’ll understand that, we have passed through a lot of crisis, so it’s time for us to build bridges and see how we can promote Peace amongst ourselves and live equitably and sustainably as people created under God’s love ”
According to him, the take home message from the event is that ” we need each other, we cannot live in isolation; we are one people irrespective of our tribes, different religions, we can live together if we actually we have the mindset to do that
” some of the places, we have worked, we have been able to set up an alternative mediation centres,where we train community people on Peace building and went ahead to inaugurate them, so that they can within themselves resolve their problems amicably and live in peace ” he reiterated
ZAMAN TARE is a project of Caritas Nigeria, Funded by European Union, (EU) in partnership with CAFOD and DREP, and it is presently operating in four Kaduna Metropolitan LGAs, in Jos Nigeria and Niger Republic respectively.