Although the history of modern day Nigeria is fairly short, it has not been without its hardships and challenges. The beautiful diversity that makes Nigeria so unique is often the cause for rifts and violence between Nigerians.
However, the challenges that Nigeria may face as a nation, are not their challenges alone. Nigeria’s story is in a way, all of our stories. We can in one way or another, relate to the struggle of this nation as if it were our own family, our own community or nation.
Like any family, the more members you have, the more different characteristics and points of views you have. These differences can lead to discomfort and conflict. With over 300 different ethnic groups, various tribes, religions, cultures and traditions, Nigeria is a very large, diverse and sometimes struggling family. Unresolved misunderstandings can lead to tensions and conflicts that sometime seem impossible to tackle.
However, as tense as it may seem, Nigeria has the potential to be great and prosperous if the differences that seem to divide can instead enhance the nation. This happens when we recognize that as a family, we are all tied together by something greater than the differences that divide us.
The great potential for growth, leadership, development and new models of peace that have implications across Africa and the world, is in part why the Global Peace Leadership Conference will be held in Abuja next month.
Many can relate to Nigeria’s story. And it is a story of hope and promise. Their rocky history of coups, corruption and ethnic conflict has actually added fuel to the fire inside the current leadership. They are urging for change, for unity across religious and tribal leadership for peace, both within their nation and within the region.
In May of this year, over 180 religious and traditional tribal leaders gathered under the theme of, “The Role of Religious Leaders and Traditional Rulers in Building a Culture of Peace, National Unity and Integration.” This deeply rooted desire for change is what is so inspiring. This growing commitment from local tribal and religious leadership promises that Nigeria is heading towards greatness.
We hope that you will stay tuned to see what issues are discussed and what solutions are proposed at the Nigerian Global Peace Leadership Conference.