Onaiyekan Foundation trains students, others in cross-cultural dialogue, peace building

GodGift Ifunanya
4 Min Read

Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation, on Monday trained some Plateau students and ethnic leaders on cultural dialogue and ethnic rivalry, for promotion and building of peaceful coexistence.

Mr Emmanuel Panden, Fellow of the Onaiyekan Foundation, who coordinated the training, held in Pankshin, said that peace was not a product that could just be picked, but must be built.

Panden said that the workshop was aimed at bringing youths from different ethnic nationalities together, telling them that they were human beings first before any other consideration.

The fellow said that the one-day workshop was for the participants to understand their unique differences in line with God’s creation.

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According to him, the training is to let the student leaders understand the needs of the different cultures, and the need to respect and tolerate each other’s cultures.

Whatever tribe one is coming from, you should understand that we are all one.

“It is humanity first, so we have to protect and support one another,” Panden said.

Mr Santos Larab, of the University of Jos, said that the cross-cultural dialogue would help the leaders understand the strength of unity.

Larab said that society was suffering from insecurity, but youths could be used to engender peace.

“For peace to reign in our society, you must capture the young ones.

“They are the entry point, and these are potential leaders for tomorrow. If you get them, society will benefit,” he said.

Dr Solomon Mangut, former Dean of the School of Education, Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin, said that the training would be the beginning of better things happening, individually and collectively.

Mangut said that anyone who wanted to divide students along ethnic lines, was not helping them.

“In any community where I find myself living, I ensure that I am part of the community.

“I ensure that whatever good I can do in that community, I do it because when that community prospers, I prosper too.

“And when things are not going well, you discover that you are never at peace.

“You will discover that thing which would have been very easy for you, has become difficult.

“So if we must begin to build the needed peace that brings development, peace begins with each person that is here.

“So as students, future leaders, if we must move this country, if we must move these things, if we must move this college, let us all agree that wherever you are, whatever you do, do the right thing,” he advised.

Danjuma Gokum, Dean of Student Affairs, FCE Pankshin, appealed to the participants to pay attention and give back to society after the training.

Gokum said that this was the only way to utilise what they gained from the workshop.

Mr Wambutda Lapdang, Students Union Government (SUG) President of the FCE, appreciated the organisers for imparting on the students their invaluable knowledge.

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