Nigerians have been urged to stop hating one another and embrace love in their relationships both online and in real life.
This charge was made by the Vice Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Professor Mahfouz Adedimeji, while presenting his lecture commemorating the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2022 at Ahman Pategi University, Patigi.
According to the Fellow of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, hating people is like taking poison and thinking it would harm the hated or giving another person free accommodation in one’s heart.
He therefore enjoined Nigerians to love one another including those who do not deserve it because it is a way of freeing their minds from negativity.
Prof. Adedimeji emphasised that peace is relevant to all people across races, cultures and disciplines. It is therefore imperative for everyone to uphold truth, promote justice, embrace forgiveness and show love as pillars that make peace hold in the real sense.
While tracing the origin of the United Nations International Day of Peace to 1981 when it was first marked, Prof. Adedimeji recalled that a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 fixed the Day on September 21 each year.
He noted that the theme for this year, “Stop Racism, Build Peace” is especially important in a world where people discriminate against one another and wage war, which is evident in the crises ravaging parts of Africa and the war between China and Russia.
He enjoined Nigerians and human beings at large to build bridges of peace and understanding as they stop discriminating against one another basis of linguistic, ethnic, social, political and cultural differences.
He stressed that given the centrality of the need for peace at all times, the fledgling Ahman Pategi University will be marking the Peace Day every year with programmes, activities and events.
Prof. Adedimeji who was a member of the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) for some time admonished Nigerians on the need for mutual understanding, tolerance, self-discipline and harmonious co-existence stressing that peace of mind is first and foremost.
During the interactive session, both staff and students appreciated the Vice Chancellor on the initiative.
According to the Bursar, Alhaji Musbau Oladejo, those who are familiar with the pedigree of the Vice Chancellor as a former Director of Peace and Strategic Studies at the University of Ilorin would not be surprised by his versatility and commitment to peace building.
The Senior Assistant Registrar, Mr Dennis Onwukwe, also noted the sensitisation was very impactful while Dr Abayomi Ayansola of the Department of English reiterated the need for justice as a requirement for peace.