By Chinedu Eze
The Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) has concluded plans to train 45 members of Oodua People Congress (OPC), Arewa Youths and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on ethnic harmony and how to entrench peace and unity in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN), Allen Onyema who said that next week trainers who specialise in conflict resolution would come from the United States to organize the training and after the training in Nigeria; the beneficiaries would also be taken overseas for further training at FEHNâ€™s expense.
He said that the objective of the training is to make the beneficiaries to eschew all those things that create division among ethnic nationalities and to see and help to build Nigeria as one, united entity and also help to galvanise their members to unite and campaign for one united Nigeria.
Onyema said that his Foundation has been promoting peace and unity in Nigeria, an effort started during the Niger Delta militancy, which contributed immensely in quelling the crisis in that part of the country.
â€œAs first effort we are training 45 youths from OPC, Arewa and IPOB. The trainers will soon arrive Nigeria. This is our effort to ensure that Nigeria remains one united country. The truth is that we are better off living together and if any part of this country splits, it can never rise to any level compared to if all Nigerians are living together because this country is a great country, which we must work hard to sustain.
â€œOne thing you cannot take away from Nigeria is our resilience and this resilience comes from the fact that most Nigerian want to remain Nigerians. I think what most people are against is perceived injustice or imbalance but the most beautiful thing is that most people want one, big Nigeria than a fragmented Nigeria,â€ Onyema said.
Onyema said he hopes to see the end of the present crisis and said FEHN would do everything possible and join others to ensure that Nigeria remains one and the Nigerian citizens begin to see themselves as people who belong to one country rather than their ethnicity.
â€œYes there is tension. If I tell myself there is no tension, it will be a lie. But we all must be positive about it. One thing I want to say to my fellow Nigerians is that conflict is part of life. Conflict can become a catalyst for positive change; it depends on the kind of approach or response you give to issues of conflict. If you give the right approach to issues of conflict it becomes a catalyst for positive change. However, if you give the wrong response to issues of conflict it becomes an avenue for catastrophe. So we should make the present conflict as catalyst for positive change,â€ Onyema said,
The FEHN Chairman, who is also the Chairman of Air Peace, said that the training of these youths would be part of his contribution to the quest for unity and ethnic harmony in Nigeria.
â€œEverybody must not be a political leader to contribute to the development of the country. Recently I wrote to the state security service and I told them to please give me permission to engage the ArewaÂ YouthsÂ and IPOB. That I believe from my position of expertise in conflict management, that I could handle these people. I know that we can make them come together and embrace peace and that I what we are working on now, which I know we will realise to strengthen the unity of Nigeria,â€ he added.