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India, Nigeria to build Convention Centre in Abuja in honour of Mahatma Gandhi

By Innocent Odoh, Abuja on 07/10/2018

Views: 710

•Late Mahatma Gandhi
•Late Mahatma Gandhi

The Indian Government and the Federal Republic of Nigeria have mapped out plans to build a multi-purpose Convention Centre in Abuja to honour the late Indian political activist and foremost champion of non-violence protest and icon of social justice, Mohandas Kamaramchad Gandhi, popularly called Mahatma Gandhi.

The High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, BN Reddy, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja on Tuesday night, during events to mark 2018 International Day of Non-violence, which also coincided with 150th birthday anniversary of Gandhi. He said that the project falls within the dimension of humanitarian and social aspect of the commemoration of the legacies of the Indian legendary leader.

“We are trying to bring the humanitarian and social aspect of the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi and part of the efforts to perpetuate the memory of Mahatma Gandhi is to build a convention center in Abuja.  A committee has been set up by the Minister of FCT Mohammed Bello and we are in the process of finalising the concept note, which is given on the basis of the technical requirements by the FCT.

“On that basis both sides will sit together and come up with a design, which can then be implemented.  Our objective is to have this project completed in two- year period sooner than later,” he said. He however added that at this stage it is difficult to place value on the whole project.

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bello Umar; said Gandhi’s advocacy for peace gave the world a significant meaning that changed things tremendously for India and the rest of the world.

 “This is a great man, an icon, a man of philosophy; he sacrificed his own life for his country and his people. Truly, this is a lesson for those of us still alive.   This was a man who has not only turned around India but he has turned around the world.  His philosophy of non-violence has made India to become great,” the Minister said.

The United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Edward Kallon, in his remarks, called on the world to use the occasion to remember and reflect on the life of Gandhi, his wisdom and achievements, which he said have had lasting impacts every one.

 “The message of non-violence is needed more than ever as unfortunately we are not yet living in the world that Gandhi dreamt of. Instead global violence has worsened, driven by ongoing conflict, violent extremism and terrorist attacks are all time high.

“We have more people displaced today than at any time since World War 2. From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, conflicts and political violence are causing human suffering on an unseen scale and it is showing no sign of decreasing,” he said.

He decried the growing attacks in Nigeria and lamented that violence has continued to cause immense human and economic losses. He stressed that it is often those who are already farthest behind that suffer the most as the violence causes widespread displacement, abuse and violation of international humanitarian and human right laws.

“Beyond the devastating humanitarian impact violence also represents a threat to the stability and peace of the entire world. Despite the growing violence and conflict we must use this occasion as an opportunity to affirm our commitment to find lasting and peaceful solutions and urge all actors to work together towards the non-violence resolution of conflict as exemplified by Gandhi’s life and work,” he noted.

He pointed out that when the member states of the United Nations adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, a vision to create a safer and more peaceful world was set out.  He explained that of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one in particular, Goal 17, which focuses efforts on enabling peaceful development stands in the midst of the philosophy of the great Gandhi.

 “At a time of protracted conflicts and complex challenges Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence remains an inspiration. At the United Nations a world free of violence and the resolution of differences through non-violence means is at the core of our work.

“At a time when inequality is on the rise and the fear of globalisaion is an imperative, we also recall Gandhi’s commitment to social justice. And in the period when the world is striving to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, ensure gender equality and leave no one behind, Gandhi’s commitment to human dignity can light our path,” the UN envoy said.

Contributing, the Chief Medical Director of Hassan’s Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Shabihul Hassan, laid emphasis on  Gandhi’s personal cleanliness, saying that “Gandhi was obsessed with cleanliness and discipline and his emphasis ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ focused on personal and societal hygiene and sanitation.

Sourced from a BusinesDay report

Source News Express

Posted 07/10/2018 09:54:25 AM





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