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Discrimination must end in Africa, says advocate

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By Abraham Adekunle

Ochei says preconceptions are weapons of mass destruction on the continent.

A business development coach and gender advocate, Dr. Doris Ochei, has commented on ever-increasing prejudice, hate and divisions in the world. In a statement made available to the press, she urged everyone to do away with discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion or gender. She noted that preconceptions and discrimination are weapons of mass destruction, calling for unity and harmony. She added that preconceptions and discrimination are threats to common humanity, and have been creating conditions of conflict and instability in Nigeria and Africa.

Particularly addressing the topic, “Preconceptions and Discrimination: Threats to Society and Common Humanity,” she highlighted the need for solidarity and mutual respect in a world that is increasingly marked by divisions and lack of understanding. She said that everyone needs to treat people equally and with dignity, irrespective of their circumstances or status. “We need to advance human rights, social and economic justice, good neighborliness, stability and a better society,” she added. She argued that an inclusive world is possible and essential for peaceful coexistence among people of the world, and for the promotion of human rights, social and economic justice.

Social media can be leveraged to create awareness.

In this quest, she says social media can be used to spread awareness. According to her, the power of social media and technology could be harnessed to create awareness and promote cross-cultural understanding and acceptance. This method can prove to be effective, seeing that the divisions and hate that have spread in Nigeria and beyond have been aggravated through social media platforms. In Nigeria, for instance, the age-long rivalry between the tribes has stayed with the country so much that it takes an outsider little observation to notice.

People all over the world witnessed the conflict manifest itself on platforms, such as X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, etc., during the campaign for and the conduct of the 2023 presidential elections. The dynamics of the election was one of its kind since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999. Three major leading candidates each from one of the major tribes in Nigeria polarized the electorate and saw them choose their own. So, Ochei reiterated, saying, “We must use our smartphones and android phones to make the world more united and less divided.”

United Nations also has a role to play in bringing unity to the world.

Also, she emphasized the role of the United Nations (UN) in promoting awareness of the dangers of discrimination and exclusion. She commended the agency for observing every March 21 as International Day of Racial Discrimination, a day that marks the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960. Ochei noted that the UN recognizes the role of past injustices, such as slave trade, colonialism, and multinational corporations in perpetuating today’s marginalization and human suffering. She also cited examples of cross-cultural marriages and relationships as demonstrations of uncommon patriotism and unity.

Nigerians like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Adeleke’s in Osun State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, among others, according to her, have demonstrated that love, acceptance, and unity can go beyond ethnic or tribal affiliations. She called for a world without social, economic, cultural, or political restrictions and barriers on the basis of who we are, adding that it should be a world, where there is equal access to resources, job opportunities, creativity, and innovation, without any form of discrimination. She believed that this model of a world will guarantee co-operation, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and peace.

The world needs peace more than ever right now.

As she calls for peace and harmony in the world, she says that we must all be a part of this movement to heal the world. While it is achievable to make the world a better place to benefit this generation and the ones to come, it is not the duty of a few but that of the collective people. As tensions between the West and Russia heightens, especially with the recent happenings in Niger Republic, we all have to intensify efforts to better the world and promote peace.

Related Link

United Nations: Website

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