The Director General of the Institute, Dr. Bakut O. Bakut, said this at an African conference on peace, diversity, and education in Abuja.
The conference was organised by IPCR in collaboration with University of Bradford and Victim Support Fund.
Bakut underscored the place of peace education in changing people’s perception on societal issues, adding that peace education inoculates citizens against tendencies that breed violence and conflicts.
Also, a professor of law and principal partner, Dakas Dakas, called on the need to inscribe peace education at the elementary level, saying that it could be part of civic education.
“ We need do a lot more and inscribe this at lower level and as we move up we need to better entrench peace education, especially given the challenges that we are facing.
“ This is critical because, how many Nigerians are able to go beyond the first degree.
“So if you leave peace education only at the tertiary level, you find that other critical segments will not be engage in the subject of civic education,” he said.
Dakas further said that diversity was something to be celebrated, adding that Africa could harness its diversity to advance its common humanity.
According to him, these identity markers, whether religion, race or whatever unfortunately have been identified and are often manipulated and deployed to cause massive crisis and conflict all over Africa.’’
The Vice Chancellor, University of Bradfort, UK, Prof. Brian Cantor, said education was the base of almost everything in the world, and would only get peace if have educated people with some understanding.
He said that the society could not achieve much without education, adding that people would only get peace if they were educated.
“ It is essential to prevent war. In diversity, we learn from other people. Diversity can be difficult as it could lead to conflict, could lead to people rejecting others. We need to learn how to manage our diversity and peace.
“We can do all that if we have better education and manipulate things in the positive way rather than negative,’’ said Cantor.
Also, Prof. Uduak Archibong, a professor of diversity, University of Bradford noted that governance deficit was a problem in managing diversity in Africa.
“ if diversity is mismanaged, that is when we have a problem, Africa diversity is in its strength.
“ Living next door with somebody different from you is the best thing that can happen to you. Peace and security work without diversity management is going to be unsuccessful,” Archibong added.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the theme for the conference was “Achieving Sustainable Peace Through Management and Peace Education’’.
(Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Emmanuel Yashim)