By Binebai Princewill
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
It is based on such premise that a leading Nigerian Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Shedrack Agediga Foundation (SAF) led by its Chairman, Amb. Dr. Comr. Shedrack Agediga who also doubles as the Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) chooses Ogulagha community in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State to commemorate the 2021 International Day of Peace.
The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report that since the establishment of the Shedrack Agediga Foundation (SAF) in 2014, the NGO has been consistently celebrating the International Day of Peace in other parts of the state and country at large.
In his speech, Amb. Agediga said the choice of Ogulagha community by SAF to commemorate the 2021 International Day of Peace is strategic and a step in the right direction to create more awareness about peace in the area.
His address reads in part: “It is my pleasure to cheerfully welcome everyone to the international day of peace 2021. Your presence makes me happy.
“The international day of peace was established in 1981 as a UN resolution to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace among nations and people through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
“The theme of this year is RECOVERING BETTER FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE WORLD . We have also carefully chosen a local theme as YOUTH, CONFLICT AND PEACE BUILDING FOR THIS OCCASION.
“Our vision in SAF is to see a peaceful and stable Niger Delta that supports good governance and development. We love to see peace reign among people and between people and nature . This is because peace with nature strengthen the possibility of peace among human beings.
“Over the years, SAF has leveraged on the UN resolution to create platform as this for peace education and public awareness across the Niger Delta and beyond.
“As the world gradually recovers from the dreaded COVID -19 pandemic, we believe that education institutions and children were the most vulnerable and worst hit . To this end we decided to celebrate this year’s event with OGULAGHA SECONDARY SCHOOL ,OGULAGHA.
“The choice of ogulagha secondary is strategic and intentional. A wise man said when you leave you must come back for others . You can erase what you know, you can’t forget who you are.
“About 32 years ago . I was a student of this great and prestigious institution.
“While we are here to celebrate international day of peace 2021, I am also here to show gratitude to the school that gave me a beautiful foundation in life .I may not have received all I needed to succeed from this school but my story cannot be complete without the input of Ogulagha secondary-school.The memories are ever with me.
“A South African cleric , Desmond Tutu of blessed memory said , do your little bit of good where you are. It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. Today SAF , an NGO founded by me would present 35 three -seater woonden desks to the school as our “Little bit of good “ thereby providing seat for 105 students
“Also as an organization poised to sustain and reinforce the existing peace in the Niger Delta , we wish to seek the permission of the school authorities to flag -off a peace club in the school to be named as SAF PEACE CLUB.
“I thank you very much for coming to be a part of this historic event.” Agediga stated.
However, while presenting thousands of notebooks, writing materials as well as the provision of 35 wooden three-seater desks for 105 students of Ogulagha Secondary School, SAF also used the medium to reward three female students of the school by immediately paying for their senior WAEC enrolment fees of the students.
High point of the event was the flag-off of the Shedrack Agediga Peace Club in order to continue in the preaching of Peace in the area.
According to Pst. Seimode Idowu, Director of Programmes, Shedrack Agediga Foundation had stated that SAF is hoping to establish more peace clubs within the riverine communities, Delta State and the country at large to advance preaching of peace.
Seimode had tasked the newly inaugurated pioneer Shedrack Agediga Peace Club members to live up to expectations, stressing that they must be of good conduct as well as good ambassadors of peace.
“SAF is an NGO operating in the Niger Delta region, duly registered with the cooperate affairs of Nigeria in the year 2014, it was founded by Shedrack Agediga. The reason is to preach peace and stability in the Niger Delta region, create awareness to develop the region through peaceful means. Core values, we believe in accountability, fairness, integrity, respect, empowerment.
“Our passion, Peace building through non violence education, empowerment and capacity building.” Seimode stated.
Earlier, in doing justice to the sub topic, YOUTH, CONFLICT AND PEACE BUILDING FOR THIS OCCASION coined out of the main 2021 International Day of Peace tagged RECOVERING BETTER FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE WORLD, Pst. Njeoma passionately spoke on the importance of peace and self development.
In his words: “Without peace, nothing happens, if you lack peace in your body, you are finished same way the society his, we have to fight for peace, peace minus everything is progress while everything minus peace is nothing.
“The three H is very important in our individual lives as well as making impact in our society they are the Heart, the Head and the Hand.
“If we want to develop, we have to develop values, building character, patience, sacrifice, Agediga is no doubt a bridge builder, you are already being tested where you are today. The world is in a hurry, we have to build our hearts.
“In building your head, you have to build your knowledge, the rigours of going to school is another training of its own. Make your phone a mobile classroom as students to acquire more knowledge.
“On hand, you have to develop skills, leadership skills, business skills, never be a nobody, life owes you nothing but you owe life a lot. We have to rebuke and discourage hard drugs by all means as a people. It is going to happen, it is up to you”. The guest speaker asserted.
On her part, Principal of the Ogulagha Secondary School had appreciated Shedrack Agediga and SAF for his kind gestures while presenting some pressing challenges faced by the school.
The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report that SAF commemoration of the 2021 International Day of Peace at Ogulagha community began with arrival, thereafter peace walk with trumpeters around the community.
The peace walk dovetailed to the Ogulagha community town hall where lecture, goodwill messages, presentation of notebooks as well as desks for students of Ogulagha Secondary School.
Meanwhile, the event was well attended by Chief Vincent Oyibode, Commissioner representing Uvwie/Udu, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), prominent chiefs in Ogulagha Kingdom, the community and youth leaderships of the community, leaders and members of the Delta Ijaw Comrade Community, women groups, students of Ogulagha Secondary School as well as others too numerous to mention.