by Mohammed Buhari
In 2010, I was appointed a United Nation Peace Ambassador by the Interreligious and Inter Federations of World Peace (IIFWP), a division of the United Nations in recognition of my performance as a Millennium Development Goal Ambassador and a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) a body under the United Nations.
Ambassadors for Peace are the world’s largest and most diverse network of peace leaders. These Ambassadors are supposed to come from all works of life representing all races, religion, nationalities, and culture, and must commit to:
• Stand on the common ground of universal moral principles, committed to promoting reconciliation, overcoming barriers, and building peace.
• Form a Global Network representing the religious, racial, and ethnic diversity of the human family and all disciples of Human Endeavour.
• Participate in programs that promote reconciliation and cooperation beyond traditional boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity, and nationality.
• Promote and practice the ethic of “living for the sake of others” as the guiding principle for building world peace and a global community.
I was also expected to contribute to the fulfilment of the hope of all ages, a unified world peace wherein the spiritual and material dimensions of life are harmonized.
On receiving the appointment, I was elated with the opportunity to join hands with influential citizens of Nigeria in contributing my quota towards engineering a Nigeria rich with sustainable peace and love. From my point of view and understanding this appointment was supposed to be an avenue for engineering initiatives for establishing the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians, as Peace Ambassadors were people who were very influential in our society, therefore they could be able to make change with little effort.
Taking a Look at Nigeria today, with regards to the terrible security situation in the country and the almost non existence of peaceful co-existence of religious and ethnic groups, it is obvious that there is great need for peace initiatives to alleviate the current situation.
But unfortunately, in all the months I have spent as a Peace Ambassador, I have not witnessed any form of mobilization towards organizing any peace initiative by the body. All I have witnessed is its members taking advantage of their position to have better access to government, embezzlement of funds donated for peace initiatives and gross unethical conduct.
To the average Nigerian on the street, being a Peace Ambassador doesn’t go beyond an individually having a flashy car carrying a ‘Peace Ambassador’ inscribed plate number. The Nigerian body of Peace Ambassadors exist today for reasons that are against its establishment as other Nations that have them are feeling their impact in their societies.
It’s so unfortunate that Nigerians seek to be appointed Peace Ambassadors today, just for the sole purpose of being referred to as one and the special plate number that is issued for their cars. The Nigerian chapter of Peace Ambassadors has evolved into an elite group that exist today for selfish reasons and not for humanistic ideals. My conscience is saddled with a heavy burden to see all the lives lost daily to terrorism and can’t seem to act against it in even in my capacity as a Peace Ambassador.
I therefore have resigned my appointment as a Peace Ambassador, as my personal principles and ideology are against in present set up. It will be a great disservice to my nation Nigeria and the world as a whole if I associate myself with a body established for the sole purpose of engineering peaceful initiatives but do not in any way represent the objectives for which it was established. We must move away from seeking titles and position in society and work for the common good of all humanity.
Mohammed Buhari is a young Nigerian who is one of Nigerians across the country nominated for the Peace project.
Some other notable Nigerians who are ambassadors for the United Nations includeFemi Anikulapo-Kuti; he promotes the United Nations Children’s Fund Unicef. Some say the First United Nations Youth Ambassador in Nigeria is the koko-master D’banj. Others are Timaya, show biz veteran Keke Ogungbe and 2face Idibia. There is also Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Ini Edo.
Organisations like Universal Peace Federation and the Interreligiousand Inter Federations of World Peace work hand in hand with the United Nation in selecting individuals who work as the ambassadors.