Following its belief that too much of the language deployed in the ongoing conversations about the future of Nigeria is laden with so much diktat, violence and reinforcement of perceived injustice, a trend that has only caused degeneration in the country, the Coalition of Nigeria Apostolic Leader (CNAL), a group of Christian leaders, recently came together in Lagos to proffer lasting solutions to such trend. Consequently, the group advocated Non-Violence Communication (NVC) for a peaceful and progressive Nigeria. Therefore, in response to what it described as “the harvest of despairs and division being delivered to the nation in torrent of violent and near-violent language,” CNAL is of the opinion that the more unrestrained our language, the more likely we are to travel from violent language to violence itself.
It described non-violent communications as, “a process of communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others.” NVC, the group explained, seeks to promote resolutions without using “guilt, humiliation, shame, blame, coercion or threats,” adding, “In this way, we can excise violence from our national discourse.”
Speaking at a recent gathering in Lagos, amongst other members of the group, the Convener, CNAL and General Overseer of the Guiding Light Assembly Worldwide, Apostle Wale Adefarasin, who has a great a passion to see the transformation of Nigeria to the country that God has blessed her to be, noted, “Over the years, there has been significant deepening in the number and nature our divisions – real, imagined and manufactured and at times they threaten to spill over into fractional violence.” Adefrasin said that it was at the interface of our fault lines that we knowingly and unknowingly hasten the descent into violence. He however wondered that though in a democratic setting, everyone is entitled to express him/herself, but how has such exercise of democratic right was never without boundaries? He explained that violent communications, ranging from generalised to specific threats, raises the ante in disputes, intensifying pre-existing fault lines and closing the door to peaceful resolution.
Adefarasin explained that, “Our country is replete with examples of rapid descents from civil discourse to violent and unproductive communications. From threats of kidnap to the threat of forcible eviction, poorly reasoned positions are advanced with threatening languages in an attempt to bully others into submission,” adding that nothing enduring can come from that kind of communication. CNAL therefore has appealed to Nigerians of all tribes, faiths and creeds to join hands with the group in embracing and committing themselves to non-violent communications as our default mode of interface, no matter how contentious the matter at hand as nonviolent communication is intended to promote civil discourse.
Deputy Convener, Bishop Abraham Olaleye is of the view that, NVC platform, sanctioned and approved by the Almighty God, is an urgent need of this hour in the nation.
Another member of the group, Rev. Peter Thompson opined that it was on platform of NVC that Nigerians can revisit the past to agree and disagree with a view to moving forward as a nation, adding, “The truth, both bitter and sweet, can be related and discussed to leave our children with records that will guide them in the paths of peace long after we have gone