By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has advised Nigerian students and youths to avoid acts of violence by embracing peace for progress.
Abubakar made the call at the National Secondary Schools Security Awareness Programme organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
The programme was in collaboration with Office of the National Security Adviser, NDC and Ufuk Dialogue to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Peace.
The Sultan said that Nigerian society like any other society, had both good and bad people, adding that good people were more than the bad ones.
He said that mentoring young ones who are future leaders remained an important component of peace in the home and the society at large.
He urged parents to start the mentoring from home, saying that if there is peace in the home, then there will be peace outside.
“So you must have peace at home first, because everything starts from home.
“Your first teacher is your mother from the day you were born, when you came out. They bring you out, cut all the umbilical cord and whatever, wash you clean and dress you up.
“The mother is the one handling you from the time until you start running and working, and maybe even until they die.
“Your mother is your first teacher and is the most important part of the home.
“If you have a good home, look for who is the mother; if you have a bad home, look for who is the mother and that is why the mothers are so important in our lives.
“If you have bad children running all over the place, carrying guns, killing people, kidnapping, ransom, or whatever, look at the background,” he said.
The Sultan commended the alumni association and its partners for putting the programme together with a view to addressing the future.
He urged all Nigerians to continue to work towards restoring peace, saying “peace is not the absence of war”.
“I believe peace is the presence of justice. If there is no justice, you can not have peace,” he added.
The Chairperson of Access Bank Plc, Dr Ajoditsedere Awosika, said the youths must understand that the unity of the country would affect its peace and ultimately result in progress.
Awosika urged the youths to insist on doing the right thing to ensure that peace and unity prevailed in the nation.
President of AANDEC, retired Air Cdre. Darlington Abdullahi, said the programme was put together to create awareness for various for children and students in all levels of educational system.
Abdullahi said the target of the programme was to reclaim the children from the hands of criminal groups trying to induct them into criminality.
He said the programme was also designed to inculcate discipline, loyalty, patriotic tradition in the students as well as and show them the need to do the right thing at all times.
Fevzullah Bilgin, Managing Director, Nigerian Tulip International Colleges, one of the partners in the programme, said youths remained the future of any nation.
Bilgin said that peace had become a significant topic in public discourse in recent time, adding that the position of the youth was also significant.
He said it was important to engage the youths in discussing peace and nation building, saying that conflicts could be prevented if the youths were engaged and their minds purified.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 15 secondary schools comprising nine public and six private schools in FCT were selected for the programme.
A student each from the schools made presentation on peace during the event. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed