8th edition of the international Peace Conference
“Ofo na Ogu: the Building Block of Peace”
Godfrey Okoye University held another edition of the University’s Annual Peace Conference. The 8th edition of the international Peace Conference which was titled “THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF PEACE”, effectively shot at its foundational purpose of ‘breeding a new generation of Nigerians with the orientation and consciousness of developing themselves and humanity through PEACEFUL coexistence’ with one another. The Conference was held at Hon. Justice Cordelia Chukwurah Arena, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu on 8th October 2018.
The Conference as usual, was organized and successfully achieved by the GOUNI Peace Club. An ever growing club which is charged with the mandate of promoting Unity (in character, personality and knowledge) Dialogue (religious, cultural and epistemic) to the extent of promoting Love (between Human beings and God, Human beings and their neighbours, and within the Self). The GOUNI Peace Club has continually proliferated beyond the University environs to the other schools in Enugu Metropolis (for the start), especially Secondary Schools.
As part of the University’s Social Development Goals (SDG) The peace Conference exemplified her usual insistence on Functional Education as being the bedrock of modern scholarship.
The Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke who formally declared the Conference open, expressed great joy in gratitude to God for making it possible for Rev. Sr. Prof. Mary Gloria C Njoku, the Coordinator of the Peace Club to rise strong from her sick bed just when she was needed to convene the Conference once again. It was miraculous he noted. Further in his remarks, the V.C noted that “Everyone loves PEACE: the RICH, the POOR, the TERRORIST, the KIDNAPPER and even the INNOCENT alike… the usual problem is that while everyone likes Peace, very many have difficulty in proffering solutions towards achieving it…” he therefore announced that the very purpose of the Conference is to engender massive grass-root reorientation and aimed at working towards a serene world devoid of chaos and violence.
In her welcome address, the Convener of the Conference and the pioneer Coordinator of GOUNI Peace Club, Rev. Sr. Prof. Mary Gloria C. Njoku (DDL) announced that the theme of the year’s Conference was so timely because; according to her “…laying the basic foundation for the sustenance of Peaceful coexistence in all its ramification is crucial in our ever rapidly changing world.” She however benched her expressions on the Igbo maxim ‘Igwe bu ike’ (collective effort is greatest). Rev. Sr. Prof. Njoku proposed that the achievement of Peace in our society requires nothing but collective Response. She added: “We might not be optimistic that this is possible, but if we self-analyze ourselves, we can see instruments that will mold these blocks, build a lasting edifying legacy for the world now and the world to come within ourselves.”
The Lead paper of the Conference entitled “Ofo na Ogu: the Building Block of Peace” was presented by Ken Ike Okere, Zonal Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) South-East Zone.
The keynote speaker aptly addressed the concept of peace as a universal need which requires promptitude in its tackling. He anatomized the concept of “ofo na ogu” through the traditional Igbo usages and its efficiency in ensuring equity and justice which will in the end engender social Peace and Tranquility. In his own terms;
In my cultural worldview, it is most humiliating when we are helpless in dealing with conflicts. The assumption is that people from the outside are always in a better position to help… In my personal experiences of peace building, practice and ownership are critical in our efforts to build and sustain peace. (Okere, 2018)
By way of prescription, the admirable orator and beautiful poet suggested that Nigeria, and Africa at large, should fall back to our traditional archive for efficient solutions to Peace Building in our society… CLICK to download a full copy of the paper.
Some of the sub themes explored and discussed in the Conference include:
1.) “Retribution, a Panacea for Conflict & Peace Building in Africa” – By Rev. Hero Obasuyi & Uwakwe Chidiebere
2.) “The Role of Teaching Peace Education in Schools” – By Anthonia Iroegbu
3.) “Promoting a culture of Peace” – By Meggy Kantert
4.) “Industrial Unrest: A Threat or a Means to Peace Building” – By Ass. Prof. T.I.F. Nwanne
5.) “living Peace Rosary” – By Rev. Fr. Ulrich Filler
6.) “Recreating a Culture of Peace: a Quest for Global Symphony” – By Michael Okoro;
And many more…
High Point of the Day…
The university dished out honorary awards to her exceptional dignitaries…
First were to friends of the University from Cologne Germany, Rev. Fr. Ulrich Filler and Mrs Justina Pawelek who were crowned Peace Ambassadors of the University. Fr. Filler on the one hand was honored with the title of “Okwukwebuike I of GOUNI; while Mrs Pawelek on the other hand, was honored with “Adadioranma” I of GOUNI.
Secondly, the erudite key note speaker, Ken Ike Okere, ASHOKA Fellow along with Mrs. Meggy Kantert, Godfrey Okoye University International Liaison Officer were each awarded the honor of Champion of Peace…