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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

August 2022
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Service Programs

Appeal for Aid to Displaced Persons and Victims of Bombing in Nyanya, Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria - I am Dr Raphael Ogar Oko, the Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation - Nigeria. I was appointed Secretary General in September 2013 and I made a commitment to ensuring that the work of Ambassadors for Peace in Nigeria becomes very visible in Nigeria and around the world. My dream has been to strengthen the quality and quantity of our membership, to create viable partnership and connection among our members and supporters as well as to introduce inspiring and empowering programs. I have been very conscious of the need to expand our funding sources and donor streams to support the visionary work of peacebuilding in Nigeria.

Since my appointment last year, I have visited a number of States in Nigeria with the UPF message of peace and have held several programs and meetings with Ambassadors for Peace. I made a determination to work with Ambassadors for Peace to establish a national culture of peace in Nigeria, to renew, create and strengthen structures for peace as well as inspire the development and utilization of infrastructure for peace in Nigeria through our membership, partners, programs, funding and outreach initiatives.

In one of my trips around the country, I witnessed one of the challenges of insecurity in our nation. Along the Lafia – Makurdi road, I saw how women, children and even the aged elderly were walking several kilometers away from their communities to escape being killed by attackers who were setting houses on fire and killing anyone they saw. I was moved to stop with a friend about 15 kilometers from Makurdi to drive an 80-year-old man and his wife who were walking along the highway hoping to find safety. Even though they were initially skeptical about accepting my offer to have them join my car with my friend, we persuaded them, mentioning that we were Ambassadors for Peace and just wanted to help them. At last, we dropped them off at a market square in the North Bank area in Makurdi, but we were not sure where they were heading beyond that.

Today, thousands of people are internally displaced and are staying under trees, in market places and schools around Makurdi. One of their concerns is how to get food to eat. I think that as Ambassadors for Peace, we can help. I am reaching out to all my friends and colleagues to consider helping out in this situation. We need to gather at least 4000 tubers of yams and/or 400 bags of rice to provide to the internally displaced persons in Benue State. This may be an interim intervention that can help reduce the many challenges that the displaced persons are facing now. Our Ambassadors for Peace in Benue State are willing to help. I have contacted the women participating in our Literacy for Peace program near Lafia to help buy yams at cheaper rates from the villagers.

As I was working hard on developing a response to this challenge, we have been greeted by another shocking challenge. The bombing in Nyanya that killed over 75 persons injured several people, who were taken to different hospitals around Abuja. The extremist attack on innocent Nigerians is increasing. We need to help those who are receiving treatment and also develop new ways of curbing the violence in Nigeria.

1. We need about N400,000 to get 4000 tubers of yam to the internally displaced persons.

2. We need to make cash donation to the Nyanya General Hospital to support the treatment of the recent bomb blast victims. As a group, about N400,000 will be a good amount to offer.

3. We want to begin an intensive peace education program in local communities. We need to begin to establish Community Peace Centers where volunteers can help to teach peace building skills to youths and organize family building programs as well as engage in community service. We have already begun with the idea of peace clubs in schools and we should all make a commitment to establishing community peace committees and peace councils in our local areas. As the violence is escalating, our peacebuilding efforts must be intensified.

The Ambassadors for Peace and other colleagues interested in the realization of peace in Nigeria needs to support the efforts of emergency relief to the displaced persons and the victims of the recent bomb blast while working toward taking our peace education to local communities.

This is how you may consider helping:

Contribute to the N400,000 relief fund for purchase of 4,000 tubers of yam for distribution to the internally displaced persons in Makurdi, Benue State • Support the donation of another N400,000 to Nyanya General Hospital for care and treatment of victims of the Nyanya bomb blast • Begin to identify potential areas in your community that we can work to establish a Community Peace Center where Peace Education can be offered.

In all, about N1 million (about US $6,000) is needed to get the efforts started in substantial ways and about 1000 lives can be touched in Benue State with additional support to victims of bomb blast in hospitals. Donations can be made through the bank or to our National Office in Abuja at 25 Bujumbura Street, Off Libreville Crescent, Near Mr. Biggs, Wuse 2, Abuja.

Bank information:

Account Name: Universal Peace Federation – Nigeria
Bank: Access Bank Plc, Maitama, Abuja
Account Number: 0689403244
Account type: Current account.

At this time, the target is to raise about one million naira (about US $6,000) to provide yams to the displaced persons and to support the victims of the bomb blast in Nyanya. Our work is a testimony to our commitment. We will not say if we do not believe that it is possible to be done. Your kind consideration to offer your support will be acknowledged and appreciated.

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