CONTESTANT NO: 20
THEME: THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN ACHIEVINING PEACE THROUGH CULTURAL DIVERSITY ……….MY PEACE OF MIND
“We're trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. And it's the only way to get people aware that peace is possible, and it isn't just inevitable to have violence. These are the unmistakable words of JOHN LENNON, when he was been interviewed on The David Frost Show, Jun. 14, 1969. My Brothers and Sisters of Africa, Today our nations in Africa and all around the world faces very daunting challenges, challenges compounded by violence and the prize that we pay for this is severe. Young people and their creative energies dissipated out in their prime, parents murdered at dawn and the helplessness of the orphaned children is nothing to be proud off as Africans. We have got to make a choice today between putting a stop to violence and ending our existence. An eye for an eye Mahatma Ghandi reminds us will only make us all go blind.
As a proud daughter from the Niger delta in Nigeria, I have not only heard but witnessed the agonizing effects of violence and conflict and have always conceived the dream of making my Niger delta people to be peace loving citizens who would rather negotiate for their rights through dialogue rather than resort to guns and violence. And our brothers and sisters’ from the northern specifically from the Borno State fighting against Western Education which has been popularly known as Bonko Haram; I have this quote from M. E. W. SHERWOOD, (and I quote) “War is a most uneconomical, poor arrangement, a bloody enrichment of that soil which bears the sweet flower of peace”.(end of quote)
Let’s look at the child soldiers in Cote d Ivory, Guinea, Sudan, and Seirra leone, to mention a few, what does this tell us about our future? Even before attaining their youth they are been initiated into the circles of violence, wielding sophisticated guns...