As the Nigerian government and the world preach peace in this season of insecurity and uncertainties, and as part of activities to mark the 2012 International Day of Peace, the Universal Peace Federation began a 2-day seminar at the Agura Hotel in Abuja Friday September 21 on the theme “Marriage and Family as instruments for sustainable Peace, National Development and a sustainable future,” with one of the main speakers at the opening urging humanity to “fix the family to fix the world.”
Delivering a lecture on this year’s theme, Obi of Ute Okpu Kingdom, Ika Local Government in Delta state, Nigeria, His Royal Majesty Solomon Chukwuka 1, JP concluded that to achieve sustainable national development and global peace, we should all “go home and love our families, the way Mother Theresa the late quintessential apostle of peace and love advised. Only by so doing, the traditional ruler stressed, may we strengthen the family, the smallest component or of society, which he described as “the foundation and building block of the larger society.”
Chukwuka 1 Obi of Ute Okpu emphasized the need for that as the only way in which the world would have begun “a process of re-populating the world with people of good character and then be headed towards achieving global peace.”
Illustrating his sociological theme of the correlation between family cohesion and peace which in turn engenders national development, the traditional ruler recalled how an inspection was once carried out on thirteen County jails in the state of New York, USA and it was discovered that six people all related by blood were being held for different offences such as burglary, attempted rape and assault with intent to kill.
The intriguing observation led one scholar to carry out a study of the history of the family of one man born about 1740 named Max, father of six girls and two boys, some of the brood born out of wedlock, the father said to be a heavy drunk and not known to have a steady job.
In 1877 when the result of the study came out, according to the royal lecturer, Max’s extended family had grown to 1, 200 people in about 37 years and out of 709 members of the family studied in detail, a majority exhibited a pattern of criminal tendencies such that 180 were paupers, 140 criminals, 60 of them habitual thieves and 50 common prostitutes. The Obi said although not all of Max’s people were bad, according to the study, the behaviours of the leadership of the family ‘had a negative effect on the lives of many people.’
There is therefore no overemphasizing the key role of the family, which speakers at the seminar recommended should stay closely knit for three generations, to enhance national development which is “the process of improving the quality of all human lives and their environment,” improvement in physical social, moral and emotional aspects of human lives, as well as “raising the level of people’s living standards: income and consumption levels, such as the quality of food, medical services, education and the extent to the people are able to meet their social and recreational needs.”
September 21 every year is United Nations General Assembly-sanctioned International Day of Peace and Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate it. This year, UN Secretary-General urged nations of the world to devote greater chunks of their budgets to human capital and capacity-building.