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O. Alao: The Work of God Can Never Be Destroyed

I enjoy the spirit in this room. I feel very warm. There is so much happening. There is so much pain in Africa. There are so many challenges. I was born in the police barracks. My Dad was a police officer. It was very tough being a son who lived in the police barracks. I had to be very disciplined. I came out living a righteous life. I met the founder of this movement in 1982 when I was 18 years old.

African dignity

There was previously a UPF conference in Malta that examined what Europe could do for Africa. I do know that African people have dignity. They will not be so excited to ask, "Give me this or give me that…" When visiting a friend’s house, an African will not normally finish a meal when they sit down eat, in order to show that they are not really hungry. In reality they may be very hungry. The host has to insist that you eat. This is the kind of dignity we have in Africa.

My point is that we don't just want to receive; we are asking what can we really do for ourselves in Africa? We have to really grow and show the aspect of forgiveness. We can grow together equally. Father Moon said that Africa can begin to change and grow when it begins also to give and not just expect to receive.

We are celebrating 50 years of the OAU-AU and African independence. I think we should redefine that word independence: I think it is better that we are sovereign states and that we depend on each other. We are then celebrating our interdependence. We should grow together with Europe. We should be on the same line and grow together.

Mr Alao shaking hands with Charlotte SimonWe do not have any African member of the UN Security Council at the moment. We have to improve this. We are not going to do this with a lot of resentment but with cooperation and determination.

We can live interdependently by overcoming our suffering. Recently we had a meeting commemorating the UN Global Day of Parents. Our Chairman that day shared his testimony that he was an orphan who raised himself up from nothing and now has properties in many nations. He did not lament about his situation. I was so touched by his account. We do not decide to be born where we are born.

Father Moon loved Africa so much

It is not a bad fortune that we were born in Africa. It is a good thing and we can make a lot out of it. When the Founders of UPF, Father and Mother Moon, came to Nigeria in 2011 they met my President, Goodluck Jonathan. They told him three things. "You need to resemble God. You need to have a pure lineage. You need to develop tradition." It was a meeting of serious talking; it was not a soft meeting. Father Moon was yelling at Goodluck Jonathan for about 45 minutes. The president was looking at him as if he was saying, "What is this man talking about?"

People have said that Nigeria is likely to split in the next three years. Father Moon said that would not happen but that Nigeria would continue to grow. He said if Nigeria starts to move forward, then Africa can move. Father Moon loved Africa so much. I could see that he did not want to leave Nigeria. He was telling us that we have everything in Africa. In my country if you are eating a mango and you drop it on the ground, it will grow by itself.

My brother Kakto is not just a Director General of the Bauchi State Government; he is also a farmer. His hands are so strong. He grows his own food. He teaches people to farm and to set up their own businesses.

What I am saying is that we have everything we need in Africa. We just need to overcome our resentments. We allow our emotions to get away with us. We have to overcome this.

I want to sing a song in Yoruba: "The work of God can never be destroyed."

Pauline Etim-Ubah later tweeted, ‘Why I love the UK and happy to support #africa50: Yoruba singing at the House of Lords yesterday. Beautiful, less talk more action mind you.’  @Artspotential

Comments made during a June 2013 visit of a UPF-Nigeria delegation to London, including participating in the June 4 Africa Day commemoration in the House of Lords. For a speech by Rev. Kakto, click here.