4 DAYS NON=VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN ACROSS NIMIYAMA
4 DAYS NON VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN ACROSS NIMIYAMA
BY MENTORS OF NIMIYAMA
#@ FACE-TO-FACE SENSITIZATION IN DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES IN THE FIVE SECTIONS WITHIN NIMIYAMA ON THE NEED FOR PEACE, BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE ELECTION
Nimiyama Chiefdom has a history of political violence during past elections, particularly in towns like Sewafeh, Massabendu, Kangama, and Condoma. In 2018, a clash between the two major political parties erupted in Massabendu town, leading to a loss of population in and around the area. These towns are home to approximately half of the Chiefdom’s population, emphasizing the urgent need to address this issue. For far too long, these communities have been associated with political violence and other related problems. However, the mentors of Nimiyama, along with their esteemed peace ambassador, Sahr Nyande, have emerged as beacons of hope.
Sahr Nyande, a young leader known for his grace and elegance, has brought honor to his Chiefdom. Unlike wealthy individuals who fail to contribute to community development, Sahr Nyande embodies the true essence of a game changer. He is committed to adding value to society and transforming the situation in the Chiefdom peacefully. He often emphasizes that the blueprints for peace are within us and that we are united in a way that cannot be broken. In this journey of life, we need to cultivate our mindset in a way that allows society to strive and prosper. With our collective contributions, we can make Nimiyama great and peaceful. Elections come and go, but we will remain as one family. Nimiyama is all we have, and there is no need to sow division or breathe violence among us. We have a responsibility to protect and guide each other against harm.
Recognizing the need to extend their efforts beyond Massabendu, Kangama, and Condoma, the mentors of Nimiyama undertook an extensive outreach and sensitization campaign for peace. They reached far communities right across the chiefdom. They visited all the five sections within the chiefdom which have also been deeply affected by political infighting and mixed feelings among residents. The campaign’s messages instilled hope and fostered a strong sense of confidence, emphasizing that seeking asylum elsewhere is unnecessary. Peace has been reborn, urging everyone to refrain from violence and victimization.
In the speech by the president of the organization, he highlighted that in the following communities, every individual has the right to vote for their party of choice and pursue development. Voting is an integral part of our civic duty, ensuring free, fair, and peaceful elections. Engaging in destructive acts, such as arson or violence, solely due to political differences, is futile. Elections come and go, but our identity as a unified nation remains constant. We firmly believe in inclusivity and the strength of unity.
He further emphasized the need for peace, he asserted “Elections, a cornerstone of democratic societies, provide citizens with the power to shape their collective destiny. However, the fervor and intensity that accompany these events often create divisions and tensions within communities. To ensure the well-being and progress of nations, it is imperative to emphasize the need for peace during and after elections. As the great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Let us espouse the just cause of peace in our communities, this will help us to see the supreme importance of peace in our society in this critical juncture, and how it can pave the way for a harmonious future.
The right to express one’s opinions and participate in the electoral process is fundamental to any functioning democracy. However, when conflicts arise, whether verbal or physical, they hinder the fair representation of diverse voices. As Nelson Mandela wisely proclaimed, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” By fostering an environment of peace, citizens can engage in constructive dialogue, promoting understanding and cooperation rather than animosity and discord.”
This statement gives hope to the communities, the campaign was needed in all the different communities visited. It was a face-to-face dialogue with the people. It was a fruitful campaign and the response of the community people was encouraging. Emphasis was laid on the need for peace before, during, and after the election. Post-election conflicts between political parties should end.
Furthermore in his address, the peace ambassador asserted that “peace after elections is significant for the consolidation of democratic transitions. Elections often result in winners and losers, but the aftermath should not be a battleground of resentment and bitterness. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” It is essential to remember that democracy thrives when all stakeholders respect the results and work collectively to uphold the principles of good governance. A peaceful transition of power strengthens the institutions and allows for the continuity of progress, irrespective of political affiliations.
In addition to political stability, peace during and after elections contributes to socioeconomic development. When tensions escalate and violence erupts, the focus shifts from national growth to conflict resolution. Valdis Birkavs once stated, “Peace is a prerequisite for economic development, and economic development is a prerequisite for peace.” In a peaceful environment, resources can be efficiently allocated toward infrastructure, education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation. This fosters an atmosphere of hope, providing citizens with opportunities for growth, entrepreneurship, and prosperity.
peace during elections enhances international reputation and cooperation. In an interconnected world, nations are constantly observed and evaluated by the global community. A peaceful electoral process signifies a commitment to democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law. As Kofi Annan eloquently noted, “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” By prioritizing peace, countries become attractive partners for trade, investment, and collaboration, leading to mutual benefits and collective progress.”
Conclusively, promoting peaceful elections in Nimiyama is important for the Chiefdom’s development. The efforts of Sahr Nyande and the mentors of Nimiyama have brought a renewed sense of hope to the affected towns. By spreading the message of peace and emphasizing the importance of civic responsibility, they aim to transform the Chiefdom’s situation for the better. With their dedication and commitment to inclusivity and unity, Nimiyama is poised to overcome its turbulent past and embrace a future characterized by progress and harmony.