THE FOUNDATION FOR ETHNIC HARMONY IN NIGERIA

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Achievement

 FEHN’s Achievements

 

We have contributed more than any government, organization or group in the real transformation of the Niger Delta Region from their culture of violence to that of civil behaviour.

Since our first Nonviolence Programme held in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, USA, in December 2005, we have touched and transformed over 600 restive youths of the region sponsored to the Program by the oil giant – Shell, Akwa Ibom State Government, Chevron and some private Organizations.

We have held 7 different sessions in Nigeria and South Africa to date.

On return from the programs, the youths not only give up violence but also work for positive change in their communities.

We have used the transformed ‘militants’ to save several situations that could have spelt agony for the nation. We have done a lot to ease the operations of the oil companies using those already transformed.

Currently FEHN has trained over 600 youths of the Niger Delta under the sponsorship of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) through the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

 

 

NONVIOLENCE ENLIGHTENMENT OF NIGER DELTA COMMUNITIES

We successfully undertook a 17 day Nonviolence enlightenment tour of the three core restive States of the region namely: Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States in July 2006. We did this at a time it was absolutely unsafe to do so. We succeeded in reaching various communities with the message of Nonviolence. 

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonviolence enlightenment of Niger Delta communities

 

We successfully undertook a seventeen day Nonviolence enlightenment tour of the three core restive States of the region namely: Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States in July 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The youths’ desire to be transformed

Our greatest achievement is the fact that we have proved that the so called militants could not only be transformed but could also be used as Agents of change to bring about a halt in the ugly trend of violent behavior.

It is now a fact that most of them look forward to their liberation from the burden of violence as a result of our Nonviolence program. The challenge here is this - who will sponsor them? 

 

               

 

 

 

IDI Araba ethnic violence in Lagos

It was our group that actually brought peace in Idi Araba, Mushin Lagos during the Yoruba / Hausa conflicts there. While the police and the security agencies were using force to quell the mayhem, we brought together the leaders of the various ethnic nationalities in Idi-Araba and a truce was immediately called. We later set up a broad based committee comprising not only the leadership of the respective

ethnic groups but also the leaders of the gangs of hoodlums who were the tools used in carrying out the violent
tendencies of their masters. Today the committee has taken up the mandate of educating their people on the need to co-exist harmoniously and reports are abound that they have all renounced ethnicity for nationalism. 

 

PLATEAU STATE CRISIS

The events leading to this crisis are complex and multi dimensional. For the avoidance of doubt, the crisis in Plateau state had nothing to do with religion. It was purely ethnic. When it actually started, we went in with the help of some of the elite using the mosques and churches to dissuade people from taking to violence but at the same imbibing the spirit of living harmoniously. We gave a world press conference where we called on the Governor of Plateau state to refrain from making inflammatory statements that may exacerbate the situation. When he continued with his utterances we knew that a serious problem was in the offing. As a result of this, we publicly, through a press release supported the Federal Government's proclamation of state of emergency in the state. 
Our members in Plateau state saved lives by shielding and sheltering people other than those from their ethnic nationalities. 
In Bauchi, the refugees were addressed and admonished to forgive their foes who were only used by their instigators who exploited their ignorance. We took Christians and Plateau indigenes to pay visits to the Hausas on a Friday after mosque.

 

IJAW / ITSEKIRI AND URHOBO / ITSEKIRI CRISIS IN DELTA STATE.

We held to our credit, the first rally that actually brought some peace in Warri. The rally was tagged "LET’S EMBRACE AND HOLD HANDS FOR LOVE". On this day, the entire city was encouraged to reach out to anyone who was not of the same ethnic stock and show love by holding hands. We visited all the Urhobo, Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic leaders and made them to call their wards to order. We have succeeded in whittling down the influence of crisis instigators in Warri, by our kind of education of the populace.

 

 

THE 2003 PLANNED ATACK ON NORTHERNERS IN ONITSHA , ANAMBRA STATE SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

 

Following the disruption of the former Biafran warlord Chief Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu’s campaign train during his 2003 presidential electioneering campaign in Kano state, northern Nigeria, a reprisal attack of immense magnitude was planned against Northerners living in Onitsha in his home state. Lives would have been lost and that could have led to more reprisal attacks all over the country if we, as a group did not wade in immediately to forestall the planned attacks. We sent the National Executive Council of FEHN to Onitsha and they addressed a rally at the Bridge-Head Market, Onitsha debunking the insinuation that the disruption was ethnically motivated. 
They were later convinced that there was no ethnic motive behind the disruption but instead it was the over zealousness of the police who threw tear gas canisters at a nearby motley crowd that caused the stampede. 
After three days of intense dialogue and after our widely reported press conference on the Kano incident, they backed down. This is to our credit.

 

 

KANO CRISIS 

We warned against the procession that led to the violence but were not taken seriously by the Kano State Government. We alerted all the markets about the expected fall out from the procession and this singular effort from us was what minimized the carnage as most traders closed shops and fled before the procession started. 
Today, there is a committee set up to look into ways of bringing all and sundry together and at the same time preventing future occurrences. It is a committee similar to the one set up in Lagos.

LADIPO MARKET, LAGOS CLOSURE  
The closure of this market by the then Lagos state government, Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu was seen as a grand plan by the Yorubas, as represented by the state government, to cripple every business of the Ibo man. 
This was a place rendered impassable with all sorts of environmental hazards caused by the activities of the traders and nothing could have been better than to close it down until certain measures were taken by the traders to redress the situation. It was however seen differently by majority of the traders who were from the southeast. The ethnic tension and mutual hatred generated by this closure was so thick in the air, when we waded in and made them see reasons. We encouraged them to stop ascribing ethnicity to every action of the government that may be beneficial to all. 
We raised committees to visit their respective town's unions where we succeeded in re-educating them after initial difficulties. This led to the visit of the Anambra state governor to the Lagos state government that led to the re-opening of the market. Today all those complaints that led to the closure have been redressed and we succeeded in helping the government from not abandoning a good programme or cause due to ethnic blackmail.

 

LAGOS ABATTOIR ETHNIC CRISIS    

There is absolute peace and harmonious co-existence in this abattoir till date because of our aggressive method of making our ideals sink in the minds of our targets. Today we have a branch in this abattoir. The hitherto Yoruba / Hausa intermittent crisis here is now history.