Better to Jaw-jaw than to War-war
Those who have seen war know that war is costly and destructive. The former Biafra leader, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, noted in his book, Because I am involved (1989), thus: “One would certainly wish there were no more wars in all parts of the world, because no war in history has ever solved the problem it set out to solve. Eventually, whatever solution there is emerges from the conference table, and not from battlefield. It is only those who have not been involved in war that will always push war as the first solution to any problem.” Yet, some misguided Nigerians are calling for war without realising that they stand to be destroyed by the same war they crave after.
According to a report published in 2015, “globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. If this were a population of a country, it would be the world’s 24th biggest”. Who needs more wars than the conflict entrepreneurs and maggots that feed on dung, decay and death?
The report stated further that in the past five years since then, at least 15 conflicts had erupted or re-ignited: eight in Africa (Cote d’voire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, northeasthern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burundi) three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq and Yemen), one in Europe (Ukraine) and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, and in several areas of Myanmar and Pakistan). Though Nigeria is also facing her challenges, there is no country-wide conflict and we should guard our delicate peace jealously.
To know the value of peace, one requires education about South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and the rest of the troubled spots of our world. Human beings don’t usually appreciate what they have until they lose it. We don’t have to lose peace and be displaced before we understand what Martin Luther King said about war: “It is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.” In other words, all problems facing us are preferable to war. This is because if there is peace there will be development.
Putting Peace in Perspective
The Honourable Minister talked about peace meaning different things to many people and its profundity is striking. Peace is everyone’s beautiful bride and we must embrace it. The psychologists consider it as a state of mind in harmony and balance, what the Germans call the weltanschauung. We all pray for peace of mind as a tormented soul will not assimilate education or appreciate the beauty of development. On their part, the sociologists consider peace as “a value that emanates from just human relationships which enhance social harmony, creativity, productivity and prevention of war”. When there is social order and equilibrium, the society triumphs.
While the theists and religious theorists consider peace as “the ubatory level of calm, the harmonious correspondence of conduct and conviction, creed and deed”, the political perspective of peace engenders its being considered “a broad concept subsumed in the balance of powers, civil government and freedoms”. Besides, to the philosophers, peace is all about “a duality of equals in a reality, balance, social justice, equality and public welfare”.
Everyone desires to live in peace. Every General knows that the purpose of war itself is to achieve peace. War is not expected to be permanent; it is to restore peace. Peace is natural; war is man-made. Everything in the universe, the cosmos, the planets, is in harmony; there is no conflict. In Islam, we greet one another with “peace be upon you” and Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Even in death, we still wish to rest in peace! Peace is non-negotiable and peace is everything.