The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has harped on the need for dialogue and tolerance in resolving religious, ethnic, communal and political conflicts, noting that such approach would engender peace and sustainable development.
The governor said this in commemoration of the International Day of Non-Violence, marked on October 2, every year by the United Nations and its sister organs.
Obaseki noted that dialogue and tolerance are necessary in resolving and preventing conflicts, urging governments at all levels to be fair to all citizens irrespective of religious, economic or political differences so as to suppress feelings of marginalisation, which may lead to conflict.
According to him, “When everything else fails, non-violent approach has proven to be reliable in resolving myriad of conflicts. It allows for continuous dialogue, realignment of interests, open and frank conversations, endurance and forgiveness of human mistakes and the conviction that our perceived enemies could become dependable allies and partners after compromise is reached.
“It is important for leaders of thought in the society to look at past attempts in conflict resolution in order to consider ideas for the future. To maintain peaceful coexistence and socio-economic development, governments must adopt strategies for inclusion, and harmonious living in dealing with conflicts.
Obaseki stressed that “the non-violence approach remains a viable and potent conflict resolution model even today, and should be explored by mediators and opinion moulders instead of the rush to unconventional tactics that leave in their wake sorrow, regrets, debts or deaths.”
The United Nations General Assembly commenced commemoration of the International Day of Non-violence by the resolution in 2007, promoting it as a platform to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.
According to the UN, “the resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.”