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May 2019
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Peace Education

Nigerian Ambassadors for Peace Open Education Center

Warri, Nigeria—Thanks to the involvement of two Ambassadors for Peace, UPF-Nigeria has opened an Ambassadors for Peace Education Center in the city of Warri in Delta State.

The Peace Education Center was started by two Ambassadors for Peace, Kingsley Edemi and Roland Ogbudu, who offered to pay one year’s rent for a three-bedroom flat for UPF-Nigeria to use for its programs. They made the donation because they believed this would bring the message of peace to the people of Delta State.

As part of the opening of the Peace Education Center on April 18, 2015, UPF presented an introductory seminar on the UPF principles for peace and the root causes of conflict. More than 25 Ambassadors for Peace from Delta State attended the seminar. Dr. George Ikpot, director of the UPF-Nigeria office of international affairs, spoke on the UPF basic principles for peace and the root causes of conflict, while Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, secretary general of UPF-Nigeria, gave a report on UPF-Nigeria activities in 2014 and the focus for 2015. At the end of the seminar, participants asked several questions on the application of the peace principles in their daily family life as well as to the state and federal government of Nigeria.

Bishop Paul Ani Smart offered special prayers to dedicate the Peace Education Center and asked all Ambassadors for Peace to work together to ensure that the first UPF Peace Education Center in Delta State will become a model for other states to learn from. The ceremony also featured the cutting of a special cake made by the wives of Kingsley Edemi and Rowland Ogbudu to support their husbands’ work for peace.

The three-bedroom flat will contain a peace library, a seminar room, a staff office and a guest room for volunteers who may visit the area. In addition to the donation of one year’s rent by Kingsley Edemi and Roland Ogbudu, who also refurbished the building, some other Ambassadors for Peace gave donations for the purchase of chairs, a generator, reading tables, etc. The event also featured discussions and plans on how to sustain the center and the initial programs and services to be offered, in addition to peace education lessons and marriage preparatory classes. One of the rooms will be used as a peace library containing speeches and books by the UPF founders. The center also will be used as a place to train young people in reducing violent behavior.

At the closing session three new Ambassadors for Peace—Bishop Paul Ani Smart, Mohammed Adamu Jabdo and Engineer John Aghara—were awarded their certificates. Bishop Smart and Engineer Aghara received their certificates with their wives, who were so happy for the recognition by UPF as Ambassadors for Peace.

Kingsley Edemi and Rowland Ogbudu were appointed as coordinators who will be responsible for the management of the center together with other Ambassadors for Peace. Speaking at the center, Kingsley Edemi appealed to all Ambassadors for Peace to consider supporting the Peace Center with donations of educational resources on peacebuilding, conflict resolution and other related materials on religion, marriage and family, and sustainable development, among others, as the center will serve not only as a Peace Education Center but also as the secretariat of UPF in Delta State.

At the closing session, the Ambassadors for Peace were briefed on the recent efforts made by UPF-Nigeria toward the conduct of peaceful elections in Nigeria, and all Ambassadors for Peace were requested to join in a special 40-day prayer and reflection for a peaceful transition from the outgoing government to the incoming government. The 40-day prayer for peaceful transition and good governance commenced on April 19 and will end on May 28, as the inauguration of the new government will be held on May 29. We are hopeful that more Peace Education Centers will be established in other parts of Nigeria to serve as centers for peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

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