The Nigerian Red Cross Society has advocated the creation of a Ministry of Reconciliation at the federal and state levels with a mandate to foster greater peace and unity in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chairman of the Anambra chapter, Peter Katchy, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the celebration of International Day of Peace on Thursday in Enugu.
Mr Katchy, a professor, said it had become imperative for the federal and state governments to embark on the reconciliation of the various sections of Nigeria.
“This is the first step to keep Nigeria one and secure the future of the nation.
“This is expected to cause peace and national cohesion which is better than tough talks and deployment of military to quell ethnic agitations,” he said.
Mr Katchy further called for sustainable efforts to encourage youth groups to volunteer in humanitarian activities as well as relief projects to help victims of disaster and violent conflicts.
He said: “We must teach youth groups to help others, give them the tools to empower themselves and feel that they are part of national vehicle of humanity.
“It will be very purposeful and meaningful.
“Youths must be protected by providing them positive narratives of national ethos and values, which will yield adequate patriotism.”
Mr Katchy urged the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to extend vocational training and skill acquisition to all the states to tackle the problem of unemployment and restiveness among the nation’s youth.
“It is possible to achieve our goal but we need decisions, political-will and transformational policies to allow us to still live in peace with our own climate as well,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the UN General Assembly has declared September 21 every year as International Day of Peace.
It is a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples, and the theme for this year’s edition is “Climate action for peace”.