The Words of the Alao Family
Abuja, Nigeria -- For UPF-Nigeria to commemorate the UN Day to remember the Holocaust and genocide victims was viewed by Ambassadors for Peace and other guests as "a welcome and pertinent effort and activity by the Universal Peace Federation, not only to remember Auschwitz and the Rwandan, Sudanese, and Bosnian experiences but also to sound a clear warning to many other nations (notably in Africa) who are engaged in ethnic, tribal, racial, and religious strife and violence."
At the February 3 program, the stories of the destruction of lives and properties -- and in particular, the decimation and elimination of families, including children, women, and the aged -- became a spotlight of attention and greater lessons for other nations and leaders, "especially for us in Nigeria." This was noted by the participants.
Based on the UN Secretary-General's statement addressing the value of "the courage to care," UPF-Nigeria organized a roundtable discussion for Ambassadors for Peace and other dignitaries on the theme: "Remembering the Holocaust Victims: One Family under God."
Presentations included –
Welcoming Remarks by the Secretary General of UPF–Nigeria, Mr. Olaleye Alao, who after his remarks read the address of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
A message entitled "Leaving Behind a Legacy of Love" presented by Rev. George M. Ogurie, the Deputy Secretary General of UPF-Nigeria.
In this message, the UPF founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon emphasized that "A true life is a life in which we abandon our private desires and live for the public good. This is a truth taught by all major religious leaders past and present, East and West, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, or the Prophet Mohammed. It is a truth that is so widely known that, sadly, it seems to have been devalued. The passage of time or changes in the world cannot diminish the value of this truth."
The keynote lecture entitled: "Loving Families: The Core for Peaceful Nations and a Peaceful World," was presented by Dr. Raphael Oko, National Coordinator of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – Nigeria. He stated that a world of true peace can only be realized through peaceful men and women who are able to form ideal, peaceful families that expand to form peaceful communities and eventually peaceful nations. He concluded by urging Ambassadors for Peace and other participants and their spouses to attend the upcoming Global Marriage Festivals on February 17 and 22.
There was also a presentation by a prominent international artist who uses art and culture to promote peace – Mrs. Ifeoma Ejiogu. Mrs. Ejiogu presented a lecture titled "Art and Culture as Instruments to Promote Peace."
The National Coordinator of UPF–Nigeria, Dr. George Ikpot, convened the roundtable discussion by showing a video presentation of the Rwandan genocide to the audience of 50 participants. Many expressed shock and sadness as they watched gory sights of human beings massacred during the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic war. He called on the Ambassadors for Peace in the country to wake up and be proactive in order to turn around the genocidal atmosphere hanging over the nation with the spate of incessant killings in recent times.
The president and founder of a peace organization, OBUTIV Peace and National Reconciliation Organization, which has partnered and worked with UPF over the years, King Tom Adie, described the peace initiatives and activities of UPF in collaboration with his organization that have helped to resolve many violent crises and clashes among people in the boundary communities in certain areas of the country. This effort has been recognized by governmental bodies, including the Federal National Boundaries Commission.
As part of the commemorative event and to encourage individual contribution and participation in peace activities, five distinguished Nigerians were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace.
The end of the event witnessed four awardees being inducted as Ambassadors for Peace including, Prince Akunna Anthony Nnamdi Azikiwe (son of the first President of Nigeria); a former Director General, Federal Ministry of Science and Technologies, Mr. Robinson Collins Oghasoro; Barr. Gabriel Akpan Fan, Assistant Director of the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mrs. Ngozi Cordyl John-Anigbogu, Assistant Director of the Voice of Nigeria (the foremost Federal Government Broadcasting Organization); and Prince Emma Anyanwu, a prominent Nigerian businessman and philanthropist. The newly appointed Ambassadors for Peace made very useful contributions to the roundtable discussion.
The event ended with a prayer by a Muslim community leader and traditional ruler, the Vice President of the National Association of Nigerian Traditional Rulers, Dalatu Abubakar Lawal (Dallatun Kauran Katsina).