There is more to peace than the absence of war. Moreover, there is no peace without justice. This article is a rethink of the notion of peace. It however, examines the relationship between peace and justice, and its interrelationship to development.
Peace is multifaceted. It is people-driven, but also requires political co-operation and justice. Political decadence, economic stagnancy and injustice interact in several ways, and thereby exacerbate conflict. These factors contribute immensely to war, which literarily has an adverse effect on economic growth, political development, and social development and progress.
Peace is a symbol and a mere dream where more than half the population of a country lives in abject penury. Where youths, who are the bedrock of development are relegated, and considered as mere followers, rather than active participants in policy making and implementation, and in leadership and development process.
The state of development in Nigeria and most African countries requires emergency intervention. The flawed structures, coupled with mismanagement of public fund, such as the case of Nigeria, have led to a lot of havoc in the society. The kidnap-for-ransom and the menace of armed robbers in the country, is partly a result of unemployment, underemployment, poverty, unfulfilled promises, and many other factors associated with injustice. Institutional and articulated programmes for rural and urban infrastructure development are still unavailable. While some States have made significant effort, others lag behind in the provision, maintenance and access to basic infrastructure.
Consequently, landslides occur in different parts of the country, as a result of widespread impact of gully erosion; and some of the States, such as Abia, Imo, Bayelsa, and Rivers States are exposed to various forms of environmental hazards, which include gas flaring, oil spillage, water pollution, and de-vegetation, without adequate attention and response from the government.
Indeed, there is need to rethink peace; because, there is no peace without justice. On the other hand, justice is a pre-condition for sustained peace, and it requires the elimination of all forms of injustice from the society, and to meet the basic needs of the entire populace equally.