The Words of the Osei Family
Aflao, Ghana -- We traveled four hours from Accra to Aflao in the Volta Region on the border between Ghana and Togo to meet with the physician and metaphysician Dr. Ben Wilson and appoint him an Ambassador for Peace.
Dr. Wilson has contributed to medical research into plants and global alternative medicine. His international positions include working with the Metaphysical Society of England and the International Parliament for Peace and Safety under the UN. In Ghana he was officer in charge of the UN Refugee Program in the Volta Region from 1994 to 2008.
He told us that officials in the nation come to him for consultation and healing, including heads of state and religious leaders.
After my explanation on the activities of UPF especially in the area of unification of religion, he said: "My sister, I just allowed you to express yourself. God has shown everything to me before you entered here. God told me that there is an organization that will bring all people into one religion." He has challenged many prominent ministers of God for teaching the Bible to suit their own taste. When I told him about the efforts we have made to send leaders to international conferences he said he would follow up with them.
Dr. Wilson, as I was told, rarely travels but when we discussed participating in the World Peace Blessing, he happily welcomed the idea and replied: "A blessing is a blessing, so nobody can reject it." He requested only that we give him advance notice and he would come to Accra with his wife. He bought a copy of Rev. Moon's autobiography and reports that he is reading it day and night.
Akatsi, Ghana -- The second award ceremony was held at Dekpor traditional area of Akatsi Constituency in the same Volta Region for Torgbi Adela Dartey III, a Paramount Chief in charge of Dekpor (Weta Traditional Area) in the Ketu North District. He retired last year as the Director in-charge of the Volta Regional Authority, Akosombo.
Torgbi Dartey decided to receive his award in his traditional area to afford his sub chiefs the opportunity to witness the event. He sent information to the UPF Secretariat that he would sponsor the event. Nana Opoku I and two other awardees were invited to Dekpor in order to receive their award alongside Torgbi Dartey on March 10
UPF delegation including two Ambassadors for Peace journeyed to Dekpor. On reaching Dekpor, we were warmly welcomed. It was a grand durbar. Apart from his sub chiefs, Torgbi had invited other Paramount chiefs from other districts to witness the occasion. The Ambassador who nominated Torgbi for the award, Mr. Donald C.S. Agumenu, played the role of coordinator and on behalf of the UPF introduced our activities -- especially the need for an inter-religious council.
In Ghana, there are certain protocols that must be observed for one to meet traditional rulers at any given time. For example, when you arrived at such a gathering, you are first served drinking water. A linguist comes around and leads the guest to greet the traditional rulers with a handshake. On taking your seat, you will be asked to explain your mission, no matter the fact that you were invited. Then the chief will order his subordinates to return the handshake. Without this ceremony, program will not commence.
It was after observing this protocol that the coordinator introduced the UPF. The Paramount Chief did not speak; rather, the linguist spoke on his behalf. There was an entertaining group made up of men and women both young and old from the community. It was fascinating!
As UPF-Ghana Secretary General, took time to explain the essence of the award not for recognition but as a commission to promote peace activities. The award citation was read, and each of the awardees took receive the award in turn. Much entertainment followed. Normally chiefs do not eat in the public. So they were taken into the palace to have their meal including Nana Opoku I.
It was after the lunch that the Paramount Chief came out and sat with us to express his gratitude for the award. He expressed his delight and added that he would have been happier if some of his sub chiefs had been honored as well, because they made him what he is today. Torgbi therefore put up a request that the UPF should consider his sub chiefs for this appointment.
In addition, Torgbi extended an invitation for us to visit his Palace in Akosombo. It was agreed that the issue of award to his sub chiefs would be discussed on that day.
On March 24, we journeyed to Akosombo at Torgbi's request. We expected to have a quiet time with him to explain the vision and mission of UPF. To our surprise, Torgbi had gathered another set of Paramount Chiefs. It was another mini durbar.
Very quickly we went through the normal protocol and as usual, I gave an overview of UPF activities because of the new guests.
When I introduced Rev. Moon's autobiography, one of the Chiefs recalled that while in his hotel room in Canada last year he was awakened from sleep by a powerful speech on TV by a certain Oriental man. As he woke and watched the screen, he could not understand the language though there was translation. He tried to jot down few words and hoped to meet such a man one day due to the content of the message. To his excitement, the picture on the autobiography was exactly the man he saw on the TV screen. This chief was so happy that he finally met the group and thanked Torgbi to have invited him to the gathering.
After my presentation, Torgbi raised the issue again of honoring his colleagues and sub chiefs with the peace award. The Secretariat assured Torgbi that the award would possible provided the chiefs make donations to cover logistics. He promised to get in touch as soon as they are ready.
Before the meeting came to a close, Torgbi and his colleagues made the following submissions:
1. The Traditional Rulers are the starting point for peace because Members of Parliament and government tend to be concerned about their positions.
2. Nomination of Ambassadors for Peace award should be centered on the Chiefs' nominations because as opinion leaders they are close to and know the people.
3. Awards should go to philanthropists who are ready to take up the cause of peace and advocate it.
4. As Traditional Rulers they like to work in partnership; UPF should create forums in their locality to discuss issues such as education, health, the youth, and other pertinent matters affecting their communities. For example, they are requesting that a 'Peace Village' or Peace Center be established in their District -- a neutral ground apart from traditional palaces where they can gather probably once a month and invite people to come and deliberate on peace concerns.
The most crucial, the education of youth, received immediate approval from the Secretary General, who promised that attention will be given as soon as the youth are ready for the workshop. The idea of a Peace Village was also well noted and is on board.
On behalf of the Traditional Rulers, Torgbi thanked UPF for honoring his invitation. He assured the UPF officials that they are prepared to propagate the message of peace not only in their area but beyond. He pointed out one difference between Traditional Rulers and government officials. If there is any misappropriation of funds or abuse of office by any chief, he said, it will immediately lead to removal of that chief. Therefore, chiefs are careful in discharging their duties. To conclude, Torgbi extended another invitation to the UPF for the commemoration of his installation as Paramount Chief.