Nigeria has contributed over 240,000 troops since it started sending soldiers, police and other personnel required by the United Nations to keep peace in the world. This revelation came from the 2010 UN report, which also classified Nigeria as the fourth largest troop contributor, even as no mention was made about the number of the dead.
These were the highlights at a briefing by the committee on the commemoration of 2012 UN peace keepers day billed for Tuesday, May 29, which incidentally is Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, chairman of the Planning Committee, who is also the director-general, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Joseph Golwa, explained that the United Nations proclaimed May 29 of every year the ‘’UN Peace Keepers Day’’ to honour those who have sacrificed their lives for peace to reign.
Golwa noted that the celebration had become important so that those alive would know that the efforts of the dead were not in vain.
‘’In commemorating this day we will be honouring, though posthumously, Nigerians who lost their lives for the sake of peace, and sending messages to those in the mission fields that their sacrifices are very much valued by the Nigerian government and people, as well as the international community.
‘’Besides, commemorating the event will serve as a great source of psychological encouragement and boost to families of those who died for the cause of peace, and a greater sense of fulfilment that their sacrifices have not been in vain,’’ he said.
The DG said that although the UN had declared this day since 2003, Nigeria only started about three years ago to observe it, even as he explained that the event would feature lectures, paper presentation, exhibitions and drama.