The National Orientation Agency (NOA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the National Climate Change Council (NCCC), and Pearl Trade West Africa (PTW) held a press briefing to announce their partnership in implementing projects under the National Festival of Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence (#NAFESTAPCOE) project.

In his briefing, the Director-General of NOA, Garba Abari, explained why peaceful coexistence is crucial for nation building. He stated that a basic understanding of our diversity is needed for the achievement of development. He also explained the toxicity that accompanied the 2023 general election in terms of negative utterances, and even so now, conversations in the media make it seem like Nigeria is still in election mode. It is for all these reasons and many more that November 16th is adopted as annual National Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence Day – A day set aside each year to celebrate our unity in diversity as a nation of diverse people. It will also be a day to promote awareness of our national ethics which include discipline, integrity, dignity of labor, social justice, religious tolerance and self-reliance.

The Director-General of the NCCC, Salisu Dahiru, explained the impact of climate change in promoting peaceful coexistence in Nigeria. He went further to explain the diversity of climate change in Nigeria.

The Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Olagunju Idowu, explained that the discussion on peaceful coexistence and tolerance is very apt and timely given the challenges that threatens the country’s coexistence. He commended NOA for being proactive and stepping up the game of pushing the message of peace and tolerance in the country.

Dr. Olagunju concluded that Nigeria can fight intolerance by promulgating laws that enforce human rights and punish offenders, educating the public on respect for rights of others, promoting press freedom and press pluralism in order to allow the public to differentiate between facts and opinions.

The press briefing was well-attended by representatives from the media, civil society organizations, and the general public. The participants expressed their support for the partnership efforts and pledged to work together to promote peaceful coexistence and tolerance in Nigeria.

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