The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari has reiterated the need for free dialogue in proffering lasting solutions to the various shades of socio-political activism that have heated up the polity in recent times.
Abari canvassed this position at a community dialogue session organized by the Agency in Kwali Area Council of Abuja with the theme: “Building a People of Peace” as part of efforts to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, irrespective of tribal and religious affiliations.
In view of the rising tensions and mutual suspicions amongst the various ethnic groups in the country, the NOA boss explained that Nigeria as a country with a large population, characterized by a plural ethno-linguistics mix, diverse cultural heritage and different religious faiths, is prone to frequent internal crises. He identified social vices, economic exclusion, real or perceived marginalization, corruption, agitation for restructuring and resource control as some of the major drivers of violent conflicts in Nigeria.
He said the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is very concerned about the rising threat to lives and properties of law abiding citizens and was doing everything to ensure their security as a responsible government, adding that NOA, as an Agency of Government charged with the responsibility of propagating and promoting peace in Nigeria, is engaging Nigerians at all levels to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Earlier, the Director of Public Enlightenment and Mass Mobilization of the Agency, Mrs. Ruth Ogun said that the issue of dialogue is crucial to the sustainability of all communities and the overall development of our nation, stating that peaceful co-existence is not a wish but an action that must be adopted as a lifestyle for development.
Ogun said that building peace is a collective effort of all citizens to harness ideas that will bring about unity and peace for national development of our country, calling on all citizens to contribute frankly to the dialogue in order to enrich the outcome of the forum.
Dignitaries at the meeting were the Kwali Local government council, Joseph Kwali, religious and traditional leaders from the area.