The environment was lively, showing signs of peace and the excitement was contagious. 

Youths of all ages had gathered at the Indoor Sport Hall of the Confluence Stadium in Kogi State and it was an atmosphere of merriment.

It was the International Day of Peace, marked on September 21, 2018, and ActionAid Nigeria had an event to make the day a memorable one for youths while it is laced with the message of peace.

With the theme “The Right To Peace”, the event had in attendance artistes, comedians and ActionAid Ambassadors, Zainab Sule and Mark Angel.

The Presence of Harrysong also kept the youths that had come from different universities looking forward to that high-point of the event also attended by government officials and other dignitaries.  

Mercy Johnson-Okojie on peace
Mercy Johnson-Okojie

The governor of the State, Mr Yahaya Bello, was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Edward Onoja while the wife of the Governor, Mrs Rashida Bello, was represented by Mercy Johnson-Okojie, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the Kogi State governor on Entertainment, Arts and Culture.

Different individuals gave speeches centred on the need for peace now that Nigeria is preparing for the 2019 general election.

Giving her short speech, Mrs Johnson-Okojie said peace was not the absence of conflict but the ability to settle conflict in a very peaceful manner.

“If you want to get the war away, give out more books, not guns, give out more pens not tanks, bring in more teachers not soldiers,” she emphasised.

Also Read: See What ActionAid, Mark Angel, Lepacious Bose, Others Did In Kogi

ActionAid gave out phones, tablets and laptops to lucky winners among students that were present at the event organised to promote peace with the slogan, #KogiTogether4Peace.

Zainab Sule performs at Kogi Peace Fiesta
Zainab Sule performed a song that promotes peace

The governor of the State, through his representative, commended the organisers of Kogi Peace Fiesta for making sure that the 2018 International Day of Peace did not pass by without a befitting event to mark it in Kogi State.

In his goodwill message, the Governor said: “Peace is not merely a possibility, it is a constant reality that is always with us, pleading that we remove the chains we have put on it, to release it, so it can bless our lives and society.

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“Conflict is therefore not the absence of peace, but a refusal to give peace a chance to work tranquillity for us”.

ActionAid’s Programme Manage, Humanitarian and Resilience, Ipoade Omilaju, had pointed out that out of 54 countries in Africa, 15 were involved in war or experiencing post-war conflict and tension.

Harrysong

According to him, perpetrators of the dreaded acts have perfected the art of taking advantage of the vulnerability of youths and use them as agents of violence extremism, either politically or religiously.

There were other performances before Harrysong rounded off the event with a performance that left the youths in jubilation.

The message was clear, 'everyone has right to Peace'. 

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