In 1960's the promoter of Non-communication, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, had a clear vision of teaching or rather educating people of any age, gender, ethnicity or background, a much more effective alternative to co-existence. The alternative, non-violent communication, was to transform negative thinking, moralistic judgement and violent language into enriching relationship that meets peoples' needs. Why? Simply because communication itself is powerful; and with power comes responsibility. Thus, if communication, on the one hand, can give one the power to make friends, on the other hand, it can give one the power to create enemies, chaos and conflict leading to violence. Non-violent communication, therefore, is needed in order to bring and build up peace in all levels of human existence. Non-violent communication helps one to improve his professional and even financial life. If one is 'wahala' person, surely the society will not appreciate him; even his professional career could be shaky. His credibility and integrity is questionable.

As Christians, and especially at this particular time when we are preparing for the elections next year, we must be aware that we can, and in fact, we should use non-violent communication to improve our society, and not to hurt society or our nation. We should understand that communication can be misused to restrict people' choices instead of increasing them. This can easily lead to conflict or violence. This reality proved true during our last elections. Non-violent communication played an important role as the media gurus, of good will and who wished the country the best, let the electorates make their choices freely; they let citizens exercise their rights and responsibilities in freedom and peaceful manner. Journalists, reporters, monitors, observers, broadcasters, media institutions, even preachers employed non-violent communication means leading or directing those elections to a reasonable, civilised and peaceful end. If, for instance, at that time, President Goodluch Ebele Jonathan and Prof. Jega Attahiru had limited the freedom of electing the leaders people wanted, then conflict (if not violence) would have been an unavoidable alternative.

As good and authentic Christians, we ought to treasure non-violent communication and internalise it so that we will become a peaceful people. This will surely make our country and the world as a whole a better place to live, a peaceable place whereby all are accepted as they are, regardless their gender, social and religious background, ethnic and cultural background or political affiliation. As Christians, we are being groomed to be the 'social conscience of the society.' And our 'Oga', Jesus Christ, put the parameters  for  us,  'the Gospel Values!'

Non-violent communication, therefore, is not only about an individual person alone, it is about others, not for the sake of 'othering' them, but for the sake of being 'other in the other.' In other words, we must acknowledge that 'we are equal but different' in the plan of God. Non-violent communication affects others, affects the society, the nation; hence, one must consider his social and ethical responsibility to others, to the society, to the nation. One has to be a non-violent communicator! And the characteristics of non-violent communication are honesty, politeness, mutuality and helpfulness with the implications of truth, respect, listening spirit leading to a better personality and profession. If at all socially and ethically responsible non-violent communicators respect the feelings of others and tell the truth,  peace will reign in our  country, peace will reign on earth.

All in all, non-violent communication can be summarised into the principle of unity based on seven professional standards, namely IFIFDAR: Impartiality (as non-violent communicator is a necessity); freedom (of press to access information); Independence (non-violent communicator is to be independent and not influenced negatively); Fairness (equal opportunity in decimating information); Decency (language has to be appropriate); Accuracy (the actual situation has to be presented); Responsibility (social responsibility should not be ignored as the non-violent communicator is the 'conscience of the society').

Non-violent communication is of extreme importance for us human beings, and more so, for us Christians. If, therefore, we want to have a peaceful co-existence especially in our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-educational background and multi-nationals, then, non-violent communication remains to be a necessity. We are to hold it firm for the sustainable and sustenance of peace and the survival of humanity, survival of our nation, Nigeria.

Our Social Media