On behalf of the NCMG Peace Award Committee, I welcome you to another edition of the NCMG Peace Award which continues to recognise and honour change agents and innovative thought leaders championing justice and peace in Africa.
The impressive turnout for the debut edition of the NCMG Peace Award on November 1, 2017, made us realize how significant the pursuit of peace is appreciated by Nigerians and Africans at large. The ballroom in Lagos, Nigeria was filled to capacity by hundreds of people to celebrate the vision of enduring peace and to honor personalities who have stuck out their necks as well as resources to promote peace and justice both in Nigeria and Africa. We were forced to pose the question, “why the hunger for peace and justice in Africa?” Everywhere we turn the story of injustice and devastation is on the daily menu with which our people are fed. Who would have imagined that after years of the struggle for independence, a struggle which had come to define the hopes and the aspirations of human civilization that the successors would be unable to carry on the dream?
A corrosive and pervasive, self-serving attitude has come to govern human relations. We have wrongly confused progress in economics, wealth creation, technology and science with the far more elusive and much more vital ethical progress that is needed for us to live in an environment of peaceful coexistence, sustainability and harmony beyond traditional boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity and nationality. These are unattainable if those attitudes do not change. They will not come about merely by the signing of agreements and treaties without more for as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr once said, “we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters on this planet, or we will perish together as fools”.
NCMG International is desirous of seeing a society that is devoid of devastating conflicts and this desire underlines its reverence for peacemakers who have expended so much towards creating lasting peace, either through post conflict humanitarian actions or activities geared towards preventing the society from degenerating into conflicts. The NCMG Peace Award constitutes this next exciting step in NCMG International’s belief and commitment to a just and sustainable Africa where the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is acknowledged, human rights are respected, social justice is maintained, and all persons are free to develop themselves, lead meaningful lives and actively contribute to their own well-being as well as their communities.
Prof. Isabella Okagbue Chairman, NCMG Peace Awards Committee