By Mark Longyen
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has urged the nation’s peace-building experts to brainstorm and make recommendations that would guide the ministry in formulating and making informed policy decisions.
Onyeama gave the charge on Monday in Abuja during a national policy roundtable organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR).
The minister was represented by Ambassador Ngozi Ukaeje, the Director of Planning, Research and Documentation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Peace-building and state-building occupy priority places for the federal government. It is work-in-progress, so we should put in place every effort into ensuring that we succeed in this regard.
“I urge participants at this roundtable to brainstorm seriously and help the ministry with recommendations that will guide the federal government in addressing these national challenges,” he said.
Onyeama noted that for 60 years since Nigeria got her independence from Britain, the country had gone through challenging experiences such as the civil war, but came out stronger.
“We have every reason to celebrate, even if for the sheer resilience exhibited by the citizens in the face of many daunting challenges,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Rep Mohammed Bago, commended the IPCR for putting together a roundtable to discuss peace-building and state-building.
“Since 1960, we have been discussing and we will continue to discuss constitutional changes, state-building, and peace-building, among others.
“There is nothing like home, Nigeria is our only country, we must be optimistic about Nigeria,” Bago, represented by Rep Ben Nzondu, said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Bakut Bakut, Director-General, IPCR, said the institute was mindful of the many efforts and interventions toward state-building and peace-building since independence.
“Our desire is to review these landmarks in order to provide policy advice to the federal government in anticipation for sustainable peace, security, and development.
“The roundtable is to avail stakeholders with the opportunity to share thoughts on strategies for entrenching enduring structures, networks, processes and energies for state-building and peace-building in Nigeria,” Bakut said. (NAN)