VOICE OF LIBERTY: Let’s talk about Peace…and why peace anyway? ~ Fiyinfoluwa Elegbede


“Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict and the freedom from fear of violence”– Wikipedia on Peace

When I received the invitation to contribute a chapter  in the book to be titled, “Why Peace” from the Editor, Marc Guttman, the foremost thought that ran through my mind was a question of what the world be without peace, or at most, of what benefit is a state of violence which best contradicts Peace as a simple definition.

Throughout the world, there are more than enough tales to narrate regarding any situation without Peace. Man’s plans and effort to actualize his desires are dependent on a number of internal and external factors. However, the most vital of these, is the ability to peruse those goals not only in a peaceful manner, but in an ambience of peace.

Violence comes in diverse fashion, most common of which is War. When societies go into war against each other, not only are lives lost and properties destroyed, but the state of a progressive society is drawn backwards in multiple folds in which rebuilding of lost opportunities takes the front seat before the actualization of any particular goal.

One memory that easily comes to mind was a communal conflict in the South Western part of Nigeria between two neighboring communities of the same tribe and similar historical origin, Ife and Modakeke, who engaged each other in crisis that at some point almost wiped out the entire region.

Reflecting on the unpleasant scenario of the aforementioned crisis between two hitherto brother communities, how then does peaceful co-existence improve the state of living, enriches opportunity and presents a platform for development?

The strive for a society where there exists respect for the lives, rights and properties of others can only be accomplished, and also thrive when preventable threats to the loss of lives, restriction of liberties and destruction of properties is properly curtailed.

The ability to move from one place to another bearing goods and services, and seeking the mutual, consensual and voluntary cooperation for exchange without coercion or force certainly requires a state of harmony and peace where transactions can be effected. War and violence undermines these movements, restricting the market to an immediate community or environment and preventing expansion and foray into other regions where the goods and services might as well be desired.

The world is structured to thrive on spontaneous and voluntary actions of individuals in a larger habitation where his expertise, knowledge and products are appreciated and exchanged for other relative values. However, the continuous innovative efforts that makes the world we live in today more advanced than it ever was in the past would not have been possible had the potential innovators been caught in a scenario of violence in which a part or the whole of their body (death) is forfeited to the cause of the violence.

From countless circumstances that abound in the world of today, the absence of a state of harmony or peace has not only costs an irredeemable loss of lives and properties, but has also engulfed resources that would have served a better purpose of advancing the affected communities, rather than re-investing in preventable rebuilding efforts.

Dreams are cut short, development is reversed and the values of resources are diminished. For the love of a world in which both we and unborn generations can freely make the choices we want, and live a life we desire, it is our responsibility today as individuals and groups to reflect on our efforts by laying the foundation for a peaceful tomorrow.

In the words of Ronald Reagan, “a people, free to choose, will choose Peace.”


(Why Peace, www.why-peace.com, is a book edited and published by Marc Guttman is a collaboration of Seventy-eight people, from thirty-four countries on five continents involving military officers, former state officials, political prisoners, seasoned academics, activists, economists, aid workers among others sharing their insights and experiences with the conclusion that only by interacting peacefully can we achieve a more harmonious, prosperous, healthy, fair and tolerant society.)


Fiyinfoluwa Elegbede is an Associate of AfricanLiberty and contributes regularly to the Voice Of Liberty column

Another International Day of Peace without the essence