By Kennedy Eberechi.
Given the prevalence of political, social and communal crisis around the country today and the disheartening wave of insurgency/militancy, there is no better time other than now to spread and propagate the consciousness of sustainable peace within our society.
The determination to improve cultural dialogue and integration and empower same through concerted developmental efforts stands in good stead to be effortlessly actualized when the Citizenry is fully incorporated into the vision.
Consequently, Queen Sylvia Buba; the current holder of Face of Peace (North-Central, Nigeria) has called on government and stakeholders in Nigeria to seek a participatory and complimentary attitude in galvanizing the interest of the youths and strategically re-channel them to national pursuits that will culminate in development and cultural recovery in a bid to address the burning issue of segregation and fundamentalism.
This call was made in an exclusive media chat with Theworldsatellite.com, during when Queen Sylvia, spoke passionately on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which comprises of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, noted the complementarities between culture and peace.
“To build peace that leads to development, it is necessary to have mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. If people accept cultural diversity and understand cultures other than their own, it will contribute to the prevention of conflict, building of peace and development. Hence, cultural diversity in Nigeria should be seen as an asset rather than a burden,” miss Sylvia said.
Continuing, the Dark-Skinned Benue-born Beauty Queen observed that with an estimated population of over 130 million and over 250 ethnic nationalities, Nigeria ranks the most populous country in black Africa. Accordingly, for her, the important part of sustainable peace is cultural diversity.
“The emergence of differing culture and maintenance of cultural diversity has raised the possibility of the human race to adapt to environmental change in the future. Furthermore, in order for culture itself to retain its creativity and vitality, the existence of other cultures is a must. New ideas are born from other cultures, and the source of cultural creativity lies within constant encounters between different cultures,” she added.
Acknowledging the fact that the Face of Peace Nigeria Beauty Pageant is not just about the funfair of crowning beauty queens, but with aims of promoting peace through culture, the 22-year-old noted that the communal crisis ravaging her home state, Benue spurred her into participating in the contest to seek a veritable platform to help in advocating the need for sustainable and lasting peace in the society as the bedrock for viable Human and Material Capacity Development.
While revealing that she would make use of the media of mass communication as instruments of social mobilization and enlightenment to able to galvanize large army of Nigerian youths, she opined: “the moment the youths of Nigeria are sufficiently educated about the essence of and the philosophy behind Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, it is easier for the different segments of the complexity that Nigeria is, to now unify and decide to live in peace, harmony, equality and respect for equity, social justice and practice democracy the way it should be.”
Queen Sylvia Buba concluded by asserting that one of the fundamental objectives of state policy is to promote our cultural values. According to her, to promote cultural values one has to create the enabling environment for the proper promotions of the different cultural activities that we find Nigeria.