INTERVIEW WITH PEACEPACE INITIATIVE’S FAN OF THE YEAR
QUESTION: Tell us about yourself.
FAN OF THE YEAR: My name is Ajayi Samuel Adeyemi. I am a concerned individual, a geologist and an educationist. I also volunteer a lot because it gives me joy. It is for same reason that I established a movement, “Equip the future”, which seeks to address several ills in our society. Also, I have flair for photography and writing.
QUESTION: How did you learn about Peacepace Initiative?
FAN OF THE YEAR: I have a gift of spotting resourceful fellows. I had met the founder of Peacepace Initiative, Ogunyale Olatunde, on a sunny day while we were undergoing our clearance procedure with NYSC at Adamawa around December 2018. We had exchanged pleasantries on some topic about Peacepace’s activities which were coming up at the time.
QUESTION: What is your perspective about peace?
FAN OF THE YEAR: Violence in its various forms has been occuring across the world. So the question is how can we minimize this as well as put an abrupt end to it? Peace is the answer. Having people from various backgrounds, ethnicity, religion, races coming together to understand and respect their differences. By embracing peace, everything is possible .
QUESTION: Why did you volunteer for Peacepace’s activities?
FAN OF THE YEAR: To counter violence, people need to understand the cause. Here, sensitization and enlightenment comes into play. The platform offers me a leverage to contribute my quota towards ensuring its success .
QUESTION: What are the things you would love the inititiave to sustain?
FAN OF THE YEAR: Peacepace should keep up and sustain the energy. Previous generations might have tried their best, which understandably was not enough. Our generation should understand that a lot of things depend on us. As future generations do not only have hope in us but also rely on our actions. They deserve a world devoid of violence.
QUESTION: How would you describe Peacepace Initiative’s weekly broadcast?
FAN OF THE YEAR: The weekly broadcast is a reminder of the roles we are expected to play as peace ambassadors. We should not only write it but act and live it.
QUESTION: What changes or additional activities would you recommend for the initiative?
FAN OF THE YEAR: Peacepace is doing enough in character building, but more orientation should be given to the public on how to coexist with other religious groups.
QUESTION: How would you describe the Nigerian Society in terms of peaceful coexistence?
FAN OF THE YEAR: Sincerely, we have a lot of work to do. Across all social platforms, youths spew hateful comments and speeches which are bigotry in nature. Foul words have become the order of the day. These are words that can trigger violence. The potency words play on personality needs to be addressed.
QUESTION: How do you think peace culture can be promoted among Nigerian youths?
FAN OF THE YEAR: It is through orientation. The youths need to understand the weight of words. They need to understand and respect one another. They need to be enlightened often on how peace and unity can be achieved in Nigeria.
QUESTION: In what ways can the Nigerian government promote unity and a peaceful society?
FAN OF THE YEAR: Understandably, the government cannot do it all. Hence, the reason why we have NGOs like Peacepace. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other related agencies need to do more because little or nothing is being felt of their impact. I feel they are not doing enough to address this global issue. More should be demanded from them.
QUESTION: How do you feel as the recipient of this award?
FAN OF THE YEAR: I am so overwhelmed right now. This shows someone is watching. Thank you Peacepace and to the organizers and partners of this awards, I say “merci” (thank you).