Nigeria: Meeting to Discuss The Re-Launching Of PWPA and A National Conference
By George C. Ikpot, PWPA Nigeria
In response to the Founder’s call for the revival of the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), in Nigeria, we held a maiden meeting with the aim to revive our PWPA chapter.
At the maiden meeting held on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 for the revival of Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), Nigeria, and following recommendations and unanimous decision by the participating scholars for a National Meeting; and subsequent discussion with the International Chairman of PWPA, Dr Thomas Selover concerning the proposed national meeting, the newly constituted PWPA Nigeria Secretariat reached out to scholars across the country and eventually convened a meeting that was attended by scholars from universities across the country. The National Meeting was held in Abuja on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at the National Merit Award House, Aguiyi Ironsi Street; Maitama, Abuja, from 10 am – 3pm.
Participants at the meeting included:
- Prof. Thomas Selover – the International Chairman of Professors World Peace Academy, from PWPA International Headquarters.
- Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Acting President, PWPA Nigeria; and Head, Dept. of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
- Prof. Joseph H. P. Golwa, Dean School of Post Graduate Studies, Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State.
- Prof. Mrs. Selina Ekpo, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
- Prof. Rosemary Udeozor, University of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
- Prof. J. C. Ikerieonwu, University of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
- Prof. Ezekiel Tom Ebitu, University of Calabar.
- Mrs. E. T. Ebitu (Wife Prof Ebitu)
- Prof. Pat Ngwu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
- Prof. Imeyen A. Noah, University of Calabar, Cross River State.
- Prof. Mrs. Apollonia Okwudishu, University of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory
- Prof. (Emeritus) Godwin Soglo
- Dr Lydia K. K. Umar, GAT, Kaduna
- Prof. Placid Njokwu, National Institute of Animal Sciences; and Global Vice President, Sun Moon University.
- Prof. Angela O. Okatahi, University of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
- Prof. Sarah O. Anyanwu, University of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
- Amb. Rev. Felix Johnson Osakwe, Director, UPF Office of executive Affairs
- Rev. George M. Ogurie, National President, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), Nigeria.
- -Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, Secretary General, UPF, Nigeria.
Others were staffs of FFWPU, UPF and WFWP.
Commencement of the Meeting:
The meeting commenced with an open prayer and the Nigerian National Anthem, after which, the Acting President of PWPA, Nigeria, Professor Ralph Akinfeleye, who has been a member of PWPA, Nigeria from its inception gave the welcome remarks, appreciating the founders’ “vision for a peaceful world and their unyielding effort and determination of continuous support of the PWPA activities.” He expressed his profound delight and joy for Professor Selover’s presence at the meeting, “…showing his love for the country and regard for Nigerian Scholars.”
Rev. George Ogurie, Nigerian National Leader, gave the opening remarks, stressing the importance of the meeting and emphasizing the need for the “renewal of our PWPA activities, particularly now, considering our nations state of affairs”. He added that scholars need a platform like the PWPA to make their contributions, especially their experience as educators to national discourse in an effort to find solutions to our national problems.
There were three papers presented during the national meeting. It was quite refreshing and hope-restoring to listen to the scholars speak on various contemporary issues concerning the building and development of the nation.
The first presentation on, “National Corruption and the Challenges of Leadership, Good Governance and National Development,” was made by Professor Joseph Habila Golwa, a former Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 8 years; and now Dean School of Post-Graduate Studies, Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State.
Professor Golwa, admonishing and appreciating the untiring and sacrificial effort of the PWPA Founders, and the participating scholars’ response to the call for the national meeting, called the attention of all participants and particularly the scholars to the fact that, “every government comes in promising to deal in a decisive way with the issue of corruption and related anti-development practices, yet we are fighting corruption without a clear national policy guide on it.”
He went on to call on scholars by charging them that with the PWPA as platform for scholars; “as scholars, we must come out with policies that will guide our national anti-corruption crusade, and that such policies must be institutionalized.” He also emphasized the need for scholars to show genuine interest, concern and be involved in electoral programs and processes. He reiterated by saying that, “this should also tell us something about the kind of people we elect into office. They must be people with high moral and ethical standing”
Two speakers spoke on; “Educating the Youths for an Ethical Society, Nation Building and National Development,” these included Professors Mrs. Rosemary Udeozor of the University of Abuja; and, Dr. Mrs Lydia Kaniang K. Umar (a visiting scholar), Executive Director, Gender Awareness Trust (GAT), Kaduna.
The first speaker on the topic, Professor Rosemary Udeozor, took time, in fact she emotionally cried out against the general disappearance of moral and ethical discipline in our society. She expressed her confidence in the future of PWPA, and described the revival and renewing of PWPA as “the best thing to happen to scholars.”
The second speaker, Dr Lydia Umar made a powerful submission, alluding to the fact that, a major factor for “the hope of a viable nation building and national development lies in the proper education of its youth.”
The final and highpoint of the presentations was made by the International Chairman of the PWPA, Professor Thomas Selover who made a PowerPoint presentation on the theme of: “The Hyo-Jeong Academy Vision of PWPA.” Dr Selover’s presentation was straight and direct as he explained the Founders’ vision of world peace and the responsibility of scholars through the principle/culture of Hyo-Jeong.
His presentation included explanation of PWPA Founders vision, PWPA Legacy, PWPA Revival, PWPA Core Values, PWPA Conferences, Themes & Fields and National-level Revitalization.
He explained that the PWPA founders, Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, have given PWPA a large mandate for peace-building through academic and policy work that is…“…international, multidisciplinary, future-oriented and action-oriented.” He then described “The Hyo-Jeong Academy Vision from the viewpoint of the culture of heart,” to relate to the foundation of the founders teachings, to mean the application of the principle of filial (heart) piety to all fields and disciplines of education and to all realms of life. Hyo-Jeong, he explained, is the foundation and basis to realize a peaceful ideal world, and that PWPA scholars are expected to take the lead in applying the filial culture in all academic disciplines and area of service.
This was something quite new to the scholars. Every scholar present appreciated Dr. Selover’s lecture and they all felt this is what they needed to understand more about their work with the PWPA.
It was Prof. Selover’s interaction with them, reflecting on the Hyo-Jeong philosophy as applied to education and the mission and responsibility of scholars that stimulated the scholars’ determination to go ahead and take more seriously plans for the proposed national conference for October.
Questions and answers: After the presentations there was time for questions and answers where the scholars interacted and shared their views and thoughts on issues raised by the presenters. The session ended with a lunch break.
Plans for a national conference and re-launching of PWPA Nigeria: The following session after lunch-break was centered on discussions and plans for the proposed national conference for October, 2017. It was generally agreed that the national conference be scheduled for October 24, 2017, with the theme; “The Role of the Academia in Achieving National Peace, Nation Building and National Development.”
After a very robust discussion among the scholars, two committees were set up to oversee the working and planning for the October conference.
- A Local Organizing Committee of nine (9) scholars (LOC) was set up to plan and work towards the national conference. Scholars from other states apart from Abuja were appointed to represent and coordinate PWPA activities including planning and mobilization for the national conference in their various States.
- A National Financial Committee was set to work and plan on how to raise funds for the conference.
The meeting ended with a prayer by one of the scholars.