Nigeria: Launching Of Youth And Students For Peace
Prepared by FFWPU Nigeria
On August 21, 2017, at the Merit Award House, Maitama, Abuja the Nigerian chapter of the Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) was launched. It was a joint effort of FFWPU Nigeria and all providential organizations such as CARP, UPF, YFWP, WFWP, Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation, in collaboration with the National Youth Council of Nigeria and the Peace Corp of Nigeria. The event was held under the Chairmanship of Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Mantu, former Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman, UPF Nigeria, with the theme “The Role of Youths and Students in Creating a Culture of Sustainable Peace”
There was a total 529 participants in attendance including University of Abuja Students, National Youth Council of Nigeria members, Peace Corp of Nigeria, Ambassadors for Peace, Gbagyi Reform and Youth Empowerment, Abuja, Nigeria Police, Nigerian Security Civil Defense Corp, Federal Road Safety Corp, State Security Service, National Youth Service Corp, and Press.
The event began with opening prayers by a Christian cleric and a Muslim cleric. They particularly prayed for the health of President Muhammadu Buhari who returned recently from an extended medical vacation in the UK. The national anthem was led by the Nigeria Police Band.
The Chairman, Senator Ibraham Mantu, gave a welcoming address in which he commended the True Parents for establishing an umbrella body for Youths and Students to actively contribute to establishing a peaceful world. He described True Parents as people he deeply loves and respects. He advised that for us to build a peaceful and prosperous nation as a people with diverse ethnic backgrounds, love must be the basis of our relationship at all levels. He said that beyond tolerance, it is through love and cooperation that we can build sustainable peace. He advised the various youth bodies present to take advantage of the character education program of UPF. He said that youths must embrace the countless opportunities available in our rich, vast and diverse physical and cultural environment. But that meaningful skill development among the youth must be rooted on sound moral and ethical principles. This is the way sustainable peace that leads to sustainable development can be achieved.
FFWPU Nigeria President George Ogurie announced that Nigeria will be hosting a Youth Peace Rally early in December 2017. He recounted two previous rallies that True Mother had addressed this year. One in Bangkok, Thailand to an audience of 12,000 in May and the other at the Madison Square Garden, New York, USA in July to an audience of more than 20,000. He said the Abuja rally will be the third and asked participants to suggest what the goal should be. Someone shouted, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND! And the audience echoed, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND!!!
“Are you sure?” asked Rev. Ogurie.
A thunderous “YEEESSSS!!!” rang through the hall which was full to capacity.
“So where can we host a hundred thousand people in Abuja?”
“THE NATIONAL STADIUM!!!!” was the thunderous answer. The hall became alive and charged up.
The audience was further fired up with a short speech by the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Mr. Murtala Garba Muhammed. Muhammed emphasized that being a person of good character with high moral and ethical standard is more important than academic qualifications. He stressed that many of the people who cause large scale havoc in society are well educated but are morally and ethically deranged. He urged youths to take advantage of and take seriously every program and activity aimed at character development. For the 100,000 Youth Rally proposed to be held in Abuja in December, he said his council is completely in support of it and will work assiduously with Youth and Students for Peace and its affiliated bodies to accomplish it. “100,000 is actually a small number to us,” He said.
Beautiful music was provided by the Nigerian Police Band. An Ambassador for Peace and a song writer, Amos Unogu, who had come from Lagos especially for the event, presented a beautiful Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Theme Song together with a quartet of Second Generation members. With this, the atmosphere was prepared for the speech of YSP President Dr Robert Kittel and our True Mother’s Keynote Address.
Due to his inability to attend personally, Dr Kittel made his speech by video; beautifully done. It was a very powerful multimedia presentation. He clearly testified to the great works of our True Parents for the salvation humankind. He especially testified to the continuation of our True Parent’s legacy as exemplified through the establishment of Youth and Students for Peace. He explained that the best way for youths to establish a culture of sustainable peace is through the cultivation of the heart of Hyo Jeong according to our True Parents teaching. Of the four realms of love: children’s love, siblings’ love, conjugal love and parental love, young people are responsible for substantiating children’s love and siblings’ love. Hyo Jeong stands for the heart of filial piety and devotion towards parents. This is what children’s love represents. On the foundation of our filial piety and devotion to our parent (Hyo Jeong) we can truly love our brothers and sisters. On the other hand, sibling’s love is the pure love of brothers and sisters that does not involve sexual relationships. Therefore, the strongest force that can help young people maintain sexual purity is the heart of Hyo Jeong. In conclusion he said young people’s role in creating a culture of sustainable peace is to create two cultures: a culture of filial piety (Hyo Jeong) and a culture of sexual purity.
Dr Kittel’s speech was followed by the Keynote Address of our True Mother which was read by Mr. Richell Jalipa from the Philippines. Mr Jalipa was special sent to represent Dr Kittel.
In her speech, True Mother clearly declared that history had been waiting for the Only Begotten Daughter of God. She further declared that all people are brothers and sisters under Heaven and that she is the True Parent of all of us. “That is why in all nations, even though people believe different things, we must follow the origin just as a sunflower turns its head to follow the sun. We cannot solve the world’s problems by human power. Only our Heavenly Parent can bring solutions. We need to go beyond religion and politics and become one with True Parents,” She said. True Mother’s speech was well received by the audience to a great applause.
The opening session ended with the presentation of Ambassador for Peace Certificate to the National Youth Council President. It was a jolly affair as all the state representatives of the National Youth Council from the 36 states of Nigeria who came to participate in the event came down in front of the stage. And together with the VIPs on stage they all danced to beautiful high-life music played by the Police Band.
A special lecture was then presented by Mr. Richell Jalipa in the same tone as the Dr Kittel’s address on the Universal Principles of Peace and the role of Youths. He outlined the five principles of peace in such a lively manner that thrilled the audience.
Goodwill messages were given by Dr. Paddy Njoku, Chairman, National Examinations Council (NECO); Iman Dr. Musa Olaofe, Senior Lecturer on Islamic Studies, University of Abuja and Iman in-charge, Ansar-Udeen Mosque, Wuse II, Abuja ; Reverend Felix Johnson Osakwe, General Overseer, Christ Evangelical and Prayer Ministry, Abuja; Representative of the Honourable Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu.
The event came to a close with a vote of thanks and an invitation for everyone to join the PeaceRoad March to the Millennium Park seven kilometres away.
In all, it was a beautiful program, according to Senator Mantu who also walked the seven kilometres on the PeaceRoad march. Many of the guests were seriously inquiring how they could become members and participate more actively in the programs of Youth and Students for Peace and its affiliated organizations.