Dear Nigerians, Peace is in our collective interest

by Omolola Ajayi

Little people are intolerant, selfish and impatient. Wise people are calm, loving and understanding.- Maxime Lagacé

It’s been said that there can’t be peace without struggle and there can’t be change without some sacrifice. There’s truth in this but it’s not the whole truth neither is it the whole picture because even in struggle, it is more advantageous to struggle and wrestle with the things that have held us back in a state and environment of relative and abiding peace than to do it in chaos, violence and war


A lot has been going on in Nigeria in recent times, particularly a lot of things that expose a lot of weaknesses in our security systems and architecture. This goes side by side with many other things that also accentuate the fragility of our cohesion as a nation; it is clear that there is so much more to be settled among blocs of Nigeria in terms of values, unity, and direction among other things. If we are to consider our history honestly, we will admit these aren’t really new issues; our current pressures are only making them more glaring.
Terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, growing insecurity in our cities, town and villages in the midst of growing social and economic pressures even as ethnic and political tensions continue to rise is nothing to be joked about. The truth is that Nigeria is dealing with a lot and her citizens are bearing heavy burdens and if we want to be very honest, it’s been for a while now. Anyone who has eyes can see that if things continue to go as they are currently going, things may boil over and there are those, not a few, who seem to think that, maybe it should be allowed to. Some others seem convinced that efforts should be galvanized in that direction. I don’t believe that things are ever that simple or that our best interests lie in that direction.
For instance, on the issue of the nation breaking apart and ethnic constituents going their separate ways, we have a few examples that we can take a look at and see that sometimes, the solutions that we propose in theory almost often differ in experience, leaving us in a place where if given another chance, we wouldn’t be so sure that we would repeat the same choices. 30 years after the dismantling of the Soviet Union and many countries out of that union are still trying to find their way….


Nigeria has so many challenges and we really need to have serious conversations about how to solve them; in doing this, every part of the nation must have a voice and be allowed to put forth what they consider as options on the table. No more hanky-panky, no more trying to impose the desires of a few on many. The way forward into sustainable nationhood is in solutions that everyone consents to and if we can’t all agree, we must also stare that in the face and its possible consequences. However, whatever we do, it is in the best interests of all of us to do it in peace. Anything apart from that, we might find ourselves paying a price that we can’t even imagine right now for trying to get our way at all costs.
The government of the day, both at the state and federal levels, need to do more to secure the nation and secure the lives of citizens and residents. The tide of targeting foreigners for violent crimes like kidnapping and robbery must be dealt with decisively as this affects the perception and stability of our investment environment as a nation. Having the country being perceived as volatile and unsafe is not in the best interest of Nigeria nor in the best interest of our development. Citizens and foreigners alike must be duly protected and those doing business and trade need to feel that Nigeria is a friendly and secure place to invest and travel
We must note that securing Nigeria is not the job of the government alone; everyone has a part to play and no effort, no matter how little, is insignificant. It is therefore not alarmist at all to warn that the alternative to peace is highly volatile and unpredictable. It is totally not worth it

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