THE FOUNDATION FOR ETHNIC HARMONY IN NIGERIA

x

  • Register

CNN_Richard Quest visit FEHN

Richard Quest of CNN visit Barr. Allen Onyema,Chairman FEHN

and CEO  Air Peace Limited 

 

The renowned world class journalist of CNN “Richard Quest” visited the Founder and pioneer of Dr. Martin Luther King's "Kingian Nonviolence and Peace Education in Nigeria" and the CEO of Air Peace limited.

 

The contributions of Barrister Allen Onyema in the area of peace building in the Niger-Delta and Job creation for over 3000 Nigeria citizens attracted the international organization once again which necessitated the reasons why Richard Quest of CNN visited to uncover his passion for humanity and Nigeria as a nation.

 

 

 

  

 

 

Glossary of Nonviolence

Glossary of Nonviolence

Nonviolenceis the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence based on moral, religious or spiritual principles. Below are the glossary of Nonviolence.

 

AGAPE– Overflowing unconditional love for all, including adversaries, needed for nonviolent conflict-resolution. Dr. King called it “love in action…love seeking to preserve and create community…love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative.”

AHIMSA– The Hindi word for non-injury, or nonviolence made popular by Gandhi as the central value of his beliefs and leadership.

ARBITRATION– Hearing of a dispute and determining its outcome by a mutually-agreed-upon third party. Can be binding or non-binding.

BELOVED COMMUNITY– Term coined by philosopher Josiah Royce to denote an ideal community, used frequently by Dr. King to describe a society of justice, peace and harmony which can be achieved through nonviolence. In his sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on April 2, 1957, Dr. King said, “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community.”

BOYCOTT– A campaign of withdrawal of support from a company, government or institution which is committing an injustice, such as racial discrimination. As Dr. King said, “There is nothing quite so effective as the refusal to cooperate with the forces and institutions which perpetuate evil in our communities.”

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE– The act of openly disobeying an unjust, immoral or unconstitutional law as a matter of conscience, and accepting the consequences, including submitting to imprisonment if necessary, to protest an injustice.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION– Ending of conflict, disputes or disagreements by nonviolent means with intent to achieve a “win-win” outcome for all parties.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION– A refusal to participate in military service because of moral beliefs.

CREATIVE TENSION– In his Letter from A Birmingham Jail, Dr. King said, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue…I must confess that I am not afraid of the word, tension. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive tension that is necessary for growth… the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

DEMONSTRATIONS– Gatherings and protest activities organized to build support for peace, justice or social reform.

DIRECT ACTION– Nonviolent resistance to injustice. More than 250 forms of nonviolent direct action have been identified, including marches, boycotts, picketing, sit-ins and prayer vigils, to name a few. See Six steps of nonviolence.

FASTING– Refusing to eat as a method of self-purification to be spiritually strengthened for nonviolent action, or as a protest.

GANDHI, MOHANDAS K.– (1869—1948) Leader of India’s nonviolent independence movement, who forced the British to quit India. Dr. King studied Gandhi’s successful campaigns and adapted some of Gandhi’s strategies in the American Civil Rights Movement. As Dr. King said of the role of Gandhi’s teachings in the Civil Rights Movement, “Christ furnished the spirit and motivation, while Gandhi furnished the method.” Dr. King said “Gandhi was the guiding light of our technique for nonviolent social change.”

LAWS, JUST VS. UNJUST– A distinction made in deciding to engage in civil disobedience. A just law is created by both a majority and minority, and is binding on both. An unjust law is created by a majority that is binding on the minority, when the minority has no voice in creating the law. Dr. King said, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with moral law…One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty.”

MASS MARCH– A large number of people walk in a group to a place of symbolic significance to protest an injustice.

MEDIATION– intervention in a dispute by a neutral third party with expertise on a particular issue for the purpose of securing a compromise, an agreement or reconciliation. A mediator can not impose a binding agreement.

MORAL SUASION– Appealing to the moral beliefs of an adversary or the public to convince the adversary to change behavior or attitudes.

NEGOTIATION– Process of discussing, compromising and bargaining with adversaries in good faith to secure a resolution to a conflict and reconciliation of adversaries. (See six steps of nonviolence below)

NONCOOPERATION– Refusal to participate in activities of or cooperate with individuals, governments, institutions, policies or laws that result in violence or injustice.

PACIFISM– A philosophy based on an absolute refusal to engage in violence because it is morally wrong.

PASSIVE RESISTANCE– Challenging an injustice by refusing to support or cooperate with an unjust law, action or policy. The term “passive” is misleading because passive resistance includes pro-active nonviolence, such as marches, boycotts and other forms of active protest.

PERSONAL COMMITMENT– The spiritual and psychological decision to participate in nonviolent action to eliminate an injustice. Prayer, meditation and sometimes fasting are used to deepen one’s spiritual understanding.

PETITION CAMPAIGNS– gathering of massive numbers of signatures in support of or opposed to a policy, proposal or law.

PICKETING– A group of individuals walk with signs bearing protest messages in front of a site where an injustice has been committed.

PURIFICATION– The cleansing of anger, selfishness and violent attitudes from the heart and soul in preparation for a nonviolent struggle. (See six steps of nonviolence below)

RECONCILIATION– The end goal of nonviolence. Bringing together of adversaries in a spirit of community after a conflict has been resolved. (See six steps of nonviolence below)

REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING– A willingness to accept suffering without seeking revenge or retribution. When an individual or group experiences injustice and abuse for a good cause, it will help produce a greater good.

SATYAGRAHA– Hindi for “soul force,” a term coined by Gandhi to emphasize the power of unadorned truth and love in a social struggle

SAVING FACE– Offering an adversary an alternative course of action which spares him or her embarrassment.

SELECTIVE PATRONAGE– The flip side of a boycott. Making a point of purchasing a product or service from a company that supports justice.

SIT-INS– Tactic of nonviolence in which protesters sit down at the site of an injustice and refuse to move for a specified period of time or until goals are achieved. Examples include Flint (Mich.) sit-down strike of 1936-37 in which auto workers sat down on job for 44 days in protest for union recognition and the student sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters in Greensboro, N.C. in 1960.

STOCKHOLDERS CAMPAIGN– Individuals or groups purchases a small amount of stock so they can have introduce resolutions at stockholder meetings, vote as stockholders and lobby corporations to correct an injustice.

STRIKES– Organized withholding of labor to correct injustice.

TEACH-INS– An organized event or series of events, including public hearings, lectures, panel discussions, theatrical presentations, showing of films, role-playing and scenario exercises and other educational techniques, to inform public about a particular issue.

TRADE SANCTIONS– A nation levies import taxes on products from another nation, or bans importation of a nation’s products altogether.

VIGILS– A form of protest in which individuals and groups stand, sit, walk, or pray at a site linked to an injustice or symbolically associated with principles of freedom, justice or peace.

The King Philosophy

The King Philosophy

TRIPLE EVILS 

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.”

Some contemporary examples of the Triple Evils are listed next to each item:

Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty … The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.”

Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes…

“Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life. It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission. It is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the progress of the future. Racism is total estrangement. It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.”

Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime…

“A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war- ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This way of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Source: “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Boston: Beacon Press, 1967. 

SIX PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE

Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:

  1. PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

    It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. 

    It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  

  2. PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

    The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. 

    The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.                                                                                                        

  3. PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.

    Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people. 

    The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.

  4. PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.

    Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. 

    Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.    

  5. PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

    Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.           

    Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.  

  6. PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

    The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win. 

    Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.    

SIX STEPS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE

The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King's nonviolent campaigns and teachings that emphasize love in action. Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolence, as reviewed in the Six Principles of Nonviolence, guide these steps for social and interpersonal change.

  1. INFORMATION GATHERING:To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent's position. 
  2. EDUCATION:It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy. 
  3. PERSONAL COMMITMENT:Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.
  4. DISCUSSION/NEGOTIATION:Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent. 
  5. DIRECT ACTION: These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a "creative tension" into the conflict, supplying moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice. 
  6. RECONCILIATION:Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step close to the 'Beloved Community.' 

Based on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in Why We Can't Wait, Penguin Books, 1963.

We often view the Six Steps as a phases or cycles of a campaign rather than steps because each of them embodies a cluster or series of activities related to each of the other five elements.

THE BELOVED COMMUNITY

“The Beloved Community” is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world.

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill.

As early as 1956, Dr. King spoke of The Beloved Community as the end goal of nonviolent boycotts. As he said in a speech at a victory rally following the announcement of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court Decision desegregating the seats on Montgomery’s busses, “the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.”

An ardent student of the teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi, Dr. King was much impressed with the Mahatma’s befriending of his adversaries, most of whom professed profound admiration for Gandhi’s courage and intellect. Dr. King believed that the age-old tradition of hating one’s opponents was not only immoral, but bad strategy which perpetuated the cycle of revenge and retaliation. Only nonviolence, he believed, had the power to break the cycle of retributive violence and create lasting peace through reconciliation.

In a 1957 speech, Birth of A New Nation, Dr. King said, “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community. The aftermath of nonviolence is redemption. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation. The aftermath of violence is emptiness and bitterness.” A year later, in his first book Stride Toward Freedom, Dr. King reiterated the importance of nonviolence in attaining The Beloved Community. In other words, our ultimate goal is integration, which is genuine inter-group and inter-personal living. Only through nonviolence can this goal be attained, for the aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of the Beloved Community.

In his 1959 Sermon on Gandhi, Dr. King elaborated on the after-effects of choosing nonviolence over violence: “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle’s over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor.” In the same sermon, he contrasted violent versus nonviolent resistance to oppression. “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”

The core value of the quest for Dr. King’s Beloved Community was agape love. Dr. King distinguished between three kinds of love:  eros, “a sort of aesthetic or romantic love”; philia, “affection between friends” and agape, which he described as “understanding, redeeming goodwill for all,” an “overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative”…”the love of God operating in the human heart.” He said that “Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people…It begins by loving others for their sakes” and “makes no distinction between a friend and enemy; it is directed toward both…Agape is love seeking to preserve and create community.”

In his 1963 sermon, Loving Your Enemies, published in his book, Strength to Love, Dr. King addressed the role of unconditional love in struggling for the beloved Community. ‘With every ounce of our energy we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community.”

One expression of agape love in Dr. King’s Beloved Community is justice, not for any one oppressed group, but for all people. As Dr. King often said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He felt that justice could not be parceled out to individuals or groups, but was the birthright of every human being in the Beloved Community. I have fought too long hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concerns,” he said. “Justice is indivisible.”

In a July 13, 1966 article in Christian Century Magazine, Dr. King affirmed the ultimate goal inherent in the quest for the Beloved Community: “I do not think of political power as an end. Neither do I think of economic power as an end. They are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life. And I think that end of that objective is a truly brotherly society, the creation of the beloved community”

In keeping with Dr. King’s teachings, The King Center embraces the conviction that the Beloved Community can be achieved through an unshakable commitment to nonviolence. We urge you to study Dr. King’s six principles and six steps of nonviolence, and make them a way life in your personal relationships, as well as a method for resolving social, economic and political conflicts, reconciling adversaries and advancing social change in your community, nation and world.

Principle of Dialogue

DIALOGUE

 

WHAT IS DIALOGUE

Dialogue is shared exploration towards greater understanding, connection, or possibility.

Guidelines for dialogue

  • We talk about what's really important to us.
  • We really listen to each other. We see how thoroughly we can understand each other's views and experience.
  • We say what's true for us without making each other wrong.
  • We see what we can learn together by exploring things together.
  • We avoid monopolizing the conversation. We make sure everyone has a chance to speak.

Tools for Open Dialogue

  • "Popcorn" and other variations of circles
  • Chime and stone
  • A penny for your thoughts
  • Facilitation
  • Maintaining a shared center

BASIC CONDITIONS FOR DIALOGUE

  • Participants must suspend their assumptions.
  • Participants must view each other as colleagues or peers.
  • In the early stages there needs to be a facilitator who ‘holds the context’ of dialogue.

 

 

PRINCIPLES OF DIALOGUE

  • Opening oneself to the other.
  • Accepting another point of view
  • Objective rightness or otherwise of opinion to be grasped.
  • knowledge- not a fixed thing to be graphed aspect of a process.
  • Concern not to win argument but to advance and human well-being.
  • Agreement can not be imposed but rest on conviction.

 

Virtues of Dialogue

 

1          CONCERN. In being with our partners in conversation, to engage them with us, there is more going on than talk about  the overt topic. There is a social bond  that entails interest in, and a commitment to the other.

2          TRUST. We have to take what others are saying on faith - and there can be some risk in this.

3          RESPECT. While there may be large differences between partners in conversation, the process can go on if there is mutual regard.        This involves the idea that everyone is equal in some basic way and entails a commitment to being fair-minded, opposing degradation and rejecting exploitation. 

4         APPRECIATION. Linked to respect, this entails valuing the unique qualities that others bring.  

6          HOPE. While not being purely emotional, hope is central. We engage in conversation in the belief that it holds possibility. Often it is not clear what we will gain or learn, but faith in the inherent value of education carries us forward.

                          

IMPORTANCE  OF  DIALOGUE

  • Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together toward common understanding
  • In dialogue, finding common ground is the goal
  • In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find meaning, and find agreement.
  • Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participant's point of view.
  • Dialogue reveals assumptions for reevaluation.
  • Dialogue causes introspection on one's own position
  • Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to change.
  • In dialogue, one submits one's best thinking, knowing that other people's reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it
  • Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one's beliefs.
  • In dialogue, one searches for basic agreements.
  • In dialogue, one searches for strengths in the other positions
  • Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person and seeks to not alienate or offend.
  • Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can put them into a workable solution
  • Dialogue remains open-ended.

Today, dialog is used in classrooms, community centers, corporations, federal agencies, and other settings to enable people, usually in small groups, to share their perspectives and experiences about difficult issues. It is used to help people resolve longstanding conflicts and to build deeper understanding of contentious issues. Dialog is not about judging, weighing, or making decisions, but about understanding and learning. Dialog dispels stereotypes, buildstrust, and enables people to be open to perspectives that are very different from their own.

 

 

Barrister Allen Onyema

National Chairman, FEHN

Visit of the US Embassy

VISIT OF THE US EMBASSY

Barr. Allen Onyema - National Chairman FEHN) , and Mr. Jeffery Hawkins - The Consul General of the US consulate in Lagos.

The Consul General of the US Consulate in Lagos, Mr Jeffery Hawkins, the Political/Economic Section Chief, Mr Rolf Olson, Political/Economic Officer, Mr Ronald Rhinehart, Cindy Huang and Caitlin Conaty of the US State Department Bureau, Washington, recently paid a curtsey call to the Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN), Barr Allen Onyema.

 

The US Embassy have a long standing relationship with FEHN, Nigeria’s foremost Nonviolence and Conflict Management Organization involved in the  massive reorientation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the Niger Delta Ex-Militants. 

 

The CG, Mr Hawkins thanked the Chairman of FEHN, Barr. Onyema for his role in the ongoing Federal Government Post Amnesty Programme, and urged him to continue to contribute his quota to making sure that peace is fully restored to the Niger Delta region.