The 2015 International Day of Peace was marked in Lagos Nigeria with fanfare as youths, government and NGO partners trooped to the street to ‘Walk for peace’. With contemporary songs emanating from high fidelity sound system mounted on a low-bed truck, participants numbering over 100 and clad in branded T-shirts, danced and sang to the admiration of members of the public.
The ‘Walk for Peace’ road show stopped intermittently at intersections to give room for professional dancers to entertain while leaflets with peace building messages were shared with members of the public.
Organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC), the Peace Day observance started with a press briefing addressed by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs Funlola Odunlami and the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja. The conclusion of the press briefing marked the beginning of an exciting ‘Walk for Peace’
Flagged off by Mrs Odunlami and led by Mr Kayanja and the CMC Director, Mrs Oluwatoyin Odusanya, the road show started from the Lagos State Secetariat Alausa Ikeja through Obafemi Awolowo Way and terminated at Ikeja-under-bridge where a citizens’ mediation session was held by the CMC, an agency of the Lagos State government under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice.
In his message, presented by the Director of UNIC Lagos, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. ‘To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace,’ he continued, ‘there is no group more poised to help realize this dream than today’s young people. They are part of the largest generation of youth in history, more aware and connected than any before.’
Speaking earlier, Governor Ambode thanked the UN Information Centre for the partnership and pledged that the CMC would adopt the International Day of Peace as an annual event to propagate the ethos of peaceful co-existence among residents in Lagos State.
The CMC serves as a non-adversarial dispute resolution Centre using mediation mechanism in dispensing justice fairly and speedily to the satisfaction of both parties.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.”