AFRICAN FOUNDATION FOR PEACE AND LOVE INITIATIVES, NFP Bringing God’s PEACE and LOVE and WHOLENESS to AFRICA A.F.P.L.I. 12 Remoye Street, Akowonjo, Lagos Nigeria Tel. 01-792-8774; 01-845-4465; 080-3354-2086 E-mail email@example.com; website: http://www.africanprojectsforpeace.org EIN:11-3692051 Our Reference: African Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives (AFPLI) Launching of the KAIROS Peace and Love Club, YABA TECH Chapter At Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos State, on September 24, 2009 IS PEACE BUILDING A PRICE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT? Greetings! All Protocols observed! My joy is unparalleled this afternoon as we launch the KAIROS CHAPTER of YABA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, after postponing the event several times since 2007. I wish to use this occasion to thank past and current members of the club that had contributed efforts to make this launching possible. I shower my gratitude also on the staff of African Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives (AFPLI) for their perseverance and patient. I want to use this opportunity also to thank the Rector, Professor Olubunmi Owoso; the staff advisers of the club, the Yaba Tech campus communities, and students all over Nigeria for embracing peace as alternative to cult and campus violence. I thank our peace awardees today for honoring and accepting our community pillar of peace awards. Let me use this occasion also to thank the officials of the Lagos State Governor, His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who by the virtue of democratic election is the constitutionally appointed Grand Patron of all our school-based peace and nation building peace clubs in Lagos State. Let me use this occasion also to thank the representatives of the Deputy Governor and Commissioner of Education, Her Excellency, Princess Sarah Sosan, for the support we have been receiving from the Lagos State Ministry of Education since 2004 when we first introduce our proactive grassroots peacebuilding initiatives in Lagos State, Nigeria. Cultivating a New Constituency of Peace Builders I want to use this opportunity also to acknowledge the fact that a larger than life favor was bestowed upon me when the Lord shared with me the divine vision couched in the following words "Africa, the Future Land of Peace" on August 13, 1996. I thank everyone who had supported me in turning this vision into a mission in several ways since 13 years ago. I am grateful for all the students, religious and community leaders, royal fathers, educators, the professionals, and the media, who have supported the vision. We are cultivating a new constituency of peace and nation builders. But permit me to ask us, myself included, some pertinent questions. Are we Paying the Right Price for Development? No individual, community, people or nation can develop without paying one price or another for their development. Students must be pay prices of working hard to complete their education. Parents who desire that their children become educated must pay schools fees, buy books, and provide other supports for their children. Families, communities, governments, nations, everyone that wants development must be prepared to pay the price. Good transportation systems, uninterrupted power supply, planned cities and suburbs, good governance and security, good health care are prices that nations pay for physical development. Honesty, loyalty, peace, love, respect, rule of law, good leadership are prices that people of a nation must pay to make them great. Life as it is known cannot flourish unless the people concerted to pay the prices for liberty, freedom and progress. What is worrisome, however, is that we are paying tremendous prices in Nigeria in sufferings, untimely death, disorientation, conflicts and violence, but none of these prices are for true development. I have found a new price that we can pay for progress and development. It is the price of peace building. In the following paragraphs I will list some of those prices that we must pay for peace and nation building. 1 1. The Price of Unity in Diversity Exactly a week from today, October 1, 2009, Nigeria will be celebrating her 49th Independence Anniversary. This college at which we are launching the KAIROS Peace Club was founded 62 years ago in 1947. In all these years we have not truly understood how to build unity through the diversity bestowed upon us as a people. Instead of looking forward we are persistently looking backward. There is nothing much foundations in the past to build the new Nigerian upon. We have to lay new foundations through Unity in Diversity. The clamor for disunity is rampart than ever, with many fanning the embers of fragmentation and dismemberment. When shall we learn to pay the price for national unity instead of producing tribal, ethnic, regional, and/even religious separatists within the country? It is time to realize that no dismemberment will help the nation. We have to join hands to pay the price of unity and progress. We have to lay new national foundations. 2. The Price of Good Leadership Leadership is a gift, and good leadership is God's gift to any nation. There are four normative leadership dimensions that every leader must possess and demonstrate. These are transformational leadership, caring leadership, servant leadership and stewardship leadership. When will African leaders, elected or unelected, realize that leadership is for change, transformation, and progress, not status-quo or backwardness? When we Nigerian leaders become transformative so that they can transform themselves and the people of the nation? Leadership is for caring for the people. Leaders who do not care for their people (children, youth, students, women, minorities, the unemployed, the sick, and the aged) are no leaders at all. Instead, they are dealers. Leaders are servants, the servants of the people who elected them to the office. You are not a true leader unless your natural desire was to serve first and then lead by serving. Servant leaders build communities, listen to the needs of the people, provide healings, and create awareness. Leaders are stewards of the economic and human resources of their nations and their people. Leaders who imbibe all these qualities will be transparently transformative. 3. The Price of Good Education Education is difficult, schooling is tedious. Children and youths need stimulus not obstacles to education. Parents who struggle to educate their children need government support and subsidies, not excessive taxation. Education can provide employment for teachers, educators, administrators, authors, publishers, developers, etc., if properly organized. The finance and banking sectors, religious and socio-cultural communities, commerce and industry, organized labor, professional bodies, and the media cannot neglect the education of our children and youths. Nigeria has lost many generations and yet is losing this generation by not resolving the industrial conflicts in the education sector, between the ASUU and the Government. Whoever contributes to the killing of higher education in Nigeria will be held responsible for the future chaotic and decadence of the nation. Now our children and youth are helpless. Let us rise up and come to their help. Let us put power tussle behind us. Let us build a new foundation for our education system. As usual, I have called intercessors to join me in a weeklong prayer for divine intervention and universities be reopened by October 1, 2009. 4. The Price for Peaceful Campuses Everything needed to be done to stamp out campus violence must be done. We have to encourage the students to try peace as alternative to violence. The scripture says "All your children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be the peace of your children." Young people do not come to school empty minded. They have learned violence ever before they come to school. Campuses only gave reins to the violent tendency they have learned. That is why we start our school-based peace clubs with the children ages 5-12 to primary schools, and teenagers ages 13-19 in secondary schools. The hope is that by the time they get to institutions of higher learning they would have learned enough peace to overcome pressures to join cults and cultism at institutions of higher learning. 5. The Price for Future Greatness We need to pay the price to put Nigeria on the new highway to greatness. We need the contributions of every Nigeria to achieve this goal. I enjoin Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to work together to rebuild the ruins of the country. In view of the power conferred on me as the Founding President and CEO of African Projects/Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives, I declare launched today, September 24, 2009, the KAIROS Chapter of Yaba College of Technology. TITUS K. OYEYEMI, CCH_09_20_09.
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