FEHN trained IPOB, AREWA & OPC Youths on Nonviolence Principle

THE FOUNDATION FOR ETHNIC HARMONY IN NIGERIA

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FEHN trained IPOD, Arewa and OPC Youths on Nonviolence

FEHN trained IPOD, Arewa and OPC Youths in Kingian Nonviolence Principles as a strategy and a lasting solution to the present violence crisis in the Country.

 

FEHN has contributed in no small measure to the stability currently enjoyed in Nigeria even today. His timely engagement of the Arewa, Ohaneze, Masob, IPOB, OPC, MBYF Youth Leaders <<See Photo Gallery>>

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Ex-Militant Leaders Nonviolence Training

Ex-Militant Leaders Nonviolence Training

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 An indication of the true acceptance of the nonviolence philosophy.

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A seemingly insurmountable task which posed impossible for several years finally generated positive results at the intervention of FEHN. This incredibly remarkable achievement is one of the most laudable landmarks of FEHN for not only the Niger Delta but also the Nation in its entirety.

 

The acheivement of this feat helped to rebrand the face of the Nigerian Nation before the entire world. FEHN successfully trained the Ex-militant leaders on the Kingian Nonviolence Philosophy. This laudable occurrence could not have come at a better time, as the Leaders are not just embracing the Peace culture, but are already training others.


Barrister Allen Onyema, National Chairman of FEHN achieved this feat against all odds, at a time when it seemed impossible. It was so rewarding to see the commitment and enthusiasm which the leaders displayed as they began to chart the noble cause. Among the Ex militant leaders present at the training are Farah Dagogo, Boy loaf, Sele etc.

Community relations interface – SHELL contracts FEHN

IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUE – THE NONVIOLENCE APPROACH.

February 6 - 12, 2009

 

 

From a critical perspective a fundamental aspect of any Community Relations project is the ability to enhance fluidity in the relationship between the communities and authorities involved, inculcating trust, promoting understanding and effective networking channels. As a result of the staggering rate of kidnapping, hostage taking and incidents of operation interruption, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) contracted the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) to handle their Community Relations Interface. As conflict management experts, FEHN brought alive a two day participatory seminar in each community at Umuorie, Elelenwo and Owaza. FEHN used the workshop to re-orient the members of the community toward the activation of civil behavior and dialogue. On the 6th and 7th of February members of the Owaza community of Abia state were under the tutelage of FEHN officials. After the opening prayer, Barrister Allen Onyema, National Chairman, FEHN welcomed all those in attendance - youths, elders and traditional rulers. He expressed his genuine concern for the people and his joy with their decision to learn what the whole world is currently embracing. He reiterated the need for them to understand the universal applicability of Nonviolence and how effectively with dialogue, profitable results are achievable.


The first exercise was the introduction which Barrister Onyema used in teaching the importance of listening as roles were reversed and feedback given. The need to listen in every situation was taught as a good number of conflicts begin with not being able to listen thoroughly. After the introductory ice breaker, the Value exercise was conducted with the aim to teach that as members of the human community what we have in common far outweighs our differences. With the manuals and other writing materials already distributed, the members of the community were fully set to learn.


   

The Kingian Nonviolence philosophy, which had been heard of on several occasions in the region, was taught with various role plays and from the level of response it was clear that the participants had thoroughly grasped the teachings. Other aspects of the teaching like 'Top down Bottom Up' were not left out - the process of creating a merger between the authorities and the grassroots was unfurled. As he taught the members of the communities, National Chairman, FEHN informed them that in Nonviolence the means must be consistent with the goal. He used the situation in South Africa during Apartheid and how they got their freedom as a viable example. Also the progress of the African-American struggle, how they have been able to transcend where they were. The Obama victory was used to exemplify the possibilities of Dialogue – The Nonviolence Approach. 

With the level of awareness already created on Day 1, it was easy to continue the teaching the following day as the review of the previous day’s exercise was encouraging. The next session was on Dialogue. Just like Nonviolence, the principles, virtues and guidelines were taught not forgetting the conditions. Barrister Onyema gave practical examples and illustrated how interwoven Nonviolence principles were with dialogue. The question and answer sessions were quite interesting making credible all that had been taught. The members of the community expressed their delight at the workshop and promised to adhere to Dialogue- the Nonviolence Approach. From the 9th to the 12th of February, the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria went to Umuorie and Elelenwo spreading the Nonviolence awareness. The traditional rulers in all the areas were not left out as they expressed their satisfaction and joy with the new tutelage they were under.

 

At the workshop in Elelenwo-seated at the high table are:

(1) Eze Godwin B. Wodi, Eze Elelenwo Etor

(2) HRH Eze Ike D.O. Chinda, Eze Oha Odani III of Elelenwo 

(3) Eze Wilfred A. Ehoro, Eze Odolukwu III of Elelenwo

(4) Eze Ruben M. Nyeche, Eze Odu III of Elelenwo

(5) Eze Sunny Weli Chukwu J.P.

 

Responding to the workshop at Umuorie, Pastor Godson Enwereuzor stated his joy as the workshop was his first encounter with Nonviolence approach. He opined that for him, “it is positive and has more advantage. It should be continued due to its educative and accommodating process for all." Also commenting in the same community, Prince Chinyere Nkwoche thanked FEHN for the level of exposure to a global ideal, which if continued, would transform the entire status quo.


Needless to say, a most functional aspect of any community development is the people as they make up the community. For FEHN the positive knowledge impartation sets the stage for proper development besides networking and regeneration. With the promotion of Dialogue and Civil behavior, these communities have the tools to reach out at all levels, not just in relating to SPDC but the world at large. With the spread of the Nonviolence culture, FEHN endorses the possibility of change in our nation reaching the grassroots- a most viable spot.

   

2007 Global Conference on Nonviolence and Peace

In fulfillment of the United Nations declaration of the first decade of the 21st century as the “Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence and Peace,” the hosting rights for the year 2007 Global Conference for Nonviolence and Peace was awarded to Nigeria by the GLOBAL NONVIOLENCE CONFERENCE SERIES with its head quarters in the United States. 

 

Since the declaration by the UN in 1999, the Global Conference has been held in the following countries: U.S.A-2 times, South Africa, Cuba, India and Columbia. The Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria was named host organization and Nigeria,

host nation. THE GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON

NONVIOLENCE AND PEACE took place in Abuja-Nigeria from December 3rd – 5th 2007. Below is the communiqué:

 

A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE THREE DAY GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON NONVIOLENCE AND PEACE HELD AT THE LADI KWALI CONFERENCE HALL, SHERATON HOTEL AND TOWERS, ABUJA, NIGERIA, DECEMBER 3rd – 5th, 2007.

 

The Global Conference ended with the following resolutions and observations:

  • The amount and sophistication of deadly weapons of destruction in wrong hands in Nigeria, if not checked, can destabilize not only Nigeria but the entire West Africa sub-region.
  • The rising incidence of violence globally is a major threat to global peace. Terrorism, armed robbery, contract killings, ethno religious riots, political violence, violent military actions, kidnappings and hostage taking have all made the world an endangered place.
  • A violent community does not develop, because it finds it difficult to attract and sustain business enterprises.
  • The prevailing violence in certain parts of Nigeria should be immediately stemmed to avoid the imminent slide to anarchy and lawlessness.
  • It is not appropriate to only condemn and demonise the youths of the Niger Delta since they could be transformed through the Nonviolence training and transformation programme to lead and live responsibly. 
  • It is established through the conference that over 80% of the militants in the Niger Delta region are desirous of going to the FEHN’s Nonviolence Training Programmes for their liberation from the clutches and burden of violence. 
  • The impact of the Nonviolence Training and Transformation Programme on the already transformed youths is gradually bringing about a new awareness in the region.
  • Any development plan for the Niger Delta region that does not seek to first, transform the mindsets of  a critical mass of the militants, will surely fail.
  • They could only be transformed through the Nonviolence training programme.
  • Shell is commended for having sponsored over 350 youths to the Nonviolence Programme.
  • Governments, individuals and corporate bodies should help FEHN in the establishment of West Africa’s first Nonviolent Centre in the states of Nigeria to drastically curb the rising incidence of violence as the Columbian experience has shown.
  • President Musa Yar’ Adua’s sincere efforts to redress the wrongs of the past are commendable. Therefore, all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political learning---as well as the international     community should support him to succeed.
  • The contribution of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Chevron, and the Akwa Ibom State Government under His Excellency, Arc. (Obong) Victor
  • Attah to the transformation of no fewer than 500 youths of the Niger Delta should be emulated by others.
  • Nonviolence education should form part of Nigeria school curriculum.
  • African governments should inaugurate a commission to be saddled with the responsibility of regulating religious activities as a way of promoting religious tolerance.
  • Facilities in Nigerian institutions of learning should be upgraded for better learning environment and behavior of students.
  •  

  • Signed:
    Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr.
    Chairman, Global Nonviolence Conference Series/Director,
    Centre for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, University of Rhode Island, U.S.A

    Rev. Joseph Tshawane – Founder/President, King – Luthuli Transformation Centre,
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Captain Charles Alphin Sr.
    Global Director, Global Nonviolence Conference Series, U.S.A.

    Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah
    Former Governor, Akwa Ibom State/Chairman, Conference Local Organizing Committee.

    Barrister Allen Onyema
    Country Conference Director/ National Chairman, Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN)

Capacity building training in the USA.

The zeal of Nonviolence training in Nigeria reels off in yet another training quest. On the 22nd of August, 2008, FEHN set out for the United States for capacity building training. The training took place in the University of Rhode Island, Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. The capacity building programme was aimed at building the capacity of core FEHN staff and some selected resource persons in the management, administration and establishment of Nonviolence centres which the Global Nonviolence Board mandated FEHN to set up in Nigeria. The dynamics of team work and practicals were not left out. Participants had several forums of interaction sharing views on leadership, challenges envisaged and possible prospects. Upon the completion of the coaching sessions participants wrote examinations and successful candidates were certified. On the 4th of September, they all returned to Nigeria.

The capacity building programme is a course that is slated to run for 90 days. However, FEHN's intensive and extensive engagements in Nigeria would not allow for a straight run of the course hence, the duration of 13 days training at any given time. That is, the programme is staggered to make each participant do 7 trips at different times to the USA for the programme.

The course participants are exposed during this programme to different institutions and centres of Nonviolence in the USA among which is the King Centre in Atlanta.

 

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