‘Current Security Challenges May Affect Achievement of SDGs 2030’

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has lamented that with the current insecurity in the country, it would be difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Speaking at the 7th International Conference on Love and Tolerance in Nigeria with the theme: ‘Harmony through Compassion: Embracing Diversity in Pursuit of Peace’, the Director-General of Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (lPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, said the present situation in the country has deprived Nigeria of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and therefore called for a concrete action to be taken.

He said there is the need for Nigerians to embrace love, tolerance for sustainable development and peaceful coexistence.

Ochogwu noted that the world is currently facing a plethora of security and developmental challenges ranging from socio-economic downturn to widening poverty chasms, marginalisation, inequality, climate change, violent conflicts, and deep socio-political and ethno-religious polarisations.

He decried that: “Nigeria continues to contend with heightened tension and violent confrontations resulting from the inability of people of diverse religions and cultural practices to manage their diversity.

“The activities of corrupt political leaders in promoting nepotism, tribalism, marginalisation, inequality and lack of inclusion in the distribution of commonwealth, have further worsened the state of diversity management in the country.

“In other words, the resourcefulness and galvanising power of diversity has not been fully utilised in the nation as our divergent opinions, values, and political linings have often times been exploited for selfish gain as well as serve as triggers of bigotry, inter-group cleavages, instability, and underdevelopment.

“This development has deprived Nigeria of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and therefore calls for a concrete action.

“It is a potent reminder of the enormity of the task before us as stakeholders in the peace project.”

The DG said the commitment of all peace and security stakeholders can reverse this ugly trend, “particularly as we play our individual and institutional roles in effective management of diversity in the country for peaceful coexistence, stability and development.”

Also speaking, President of Ufuk Dialogue, Mr. Emrah Ilgen, said in a world with many different beliefs and cultures, it’s important to understand how love and tolerance can bring us together.

He said: “Love helps us to connect with one another no matter our differences. It encourages us to be kind and understanding, which is crucial for building a global community.

“Tolerance is about accepting that everyone is unique and has their own story. It means being open to learning from others and respecting their differences. By being tolerant, we can bridge gaps between people who see the world differently.

“To make the world more loving and tolerant, we must address issues like prejudice and discrimination. These problems often come from not understanding or fearing what is different.

We can overcome them by promoting education and creating spaces for open conversations.

“Let’s work towards societies where love and tolerance are not just ideas but part of our everyday lives. This means standing up for justice, equality, and human rights. By challenging our own biases and embracing diversity, we can build a world where everyone feels valued and respected.”

He further stated that: “Love and tolerance are not passive; they require us to take action. By practicing kindness and acceptance, we can make a difference in our communities and pave the way for a brighter future.”

Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, who was represented by Hon. Usman Bello, said Nigeria as a cosmopolitan society must try to appreciate the existence of other people.

He said: “Compassion is to accept other people. Until we accept, we cannot appreciate other people. We must all come together and discuss tolerance and compassion. Unless we come out of myopic thinking, we are not going to achieve what God intends for us.”

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