I haven’t ever paid attention to the Nobel Peace Prize – its history, nor various recipients over the years – I think this story will change with this year’s announcement, albeit unplanned.

As I prepared to settle at my work desk on October 5, 2018, I saw CNN’s breaking news banner about the impending reveal of the Norwegian Peace Prize awardee(s) for the year. I got interested because I heard the news anchors banter between each other if perhaps Donald Trump or Kim Jong Un could be this year’s recipient(s).

As the Committee Chair, Ms Berit Reiss-Andersen came on to give her 7 minutes, 59 seconds long announcement statement, I noticed in her demeanor confidence and excitement in the news she was about to share; and as she spoke, my attention was drawn to a word from this excerpt,

“…her assaulters threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful version of Islam” during her recital of why Nadia Murad was awarded.

The word is version – the inclusion of that word in the highlighted excerpt confirmed to me, the dangers of generalising, an acknowledgement that there is a variant to what should be the norm; as well as respect to those whose faith is being abused because of the actions of a few. It is obvious, the committee is aware of what could go wrong if its statement is perceived as offensive – futuristic thinking in action.

Sadly, the opposite of such thinking is found in different aspects of our national life, the most recent being the numerous hateful comments during the party primaries made by proponents of one candidate to discredit opponents. I’ve always believed that our environment, especially at this time when I describe most people as cranky, is prone to uncalculated reactions from a little provocation. I am also of the belief that our electoral decision should really be to ensure peace, but if the communication of candidates telling us of their suitability for the role only riles the majority of the citizenry, would we ever get anything different from what we have now?

 

As written by Esohe Kienmo Eboigbe

 

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