Air Peace and the Foundation of Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria ( FEHN) will spend over N200 million on the training of newly crowned Miss Nigeria : Lessi Peter -Vigboro and others in non – violence and conflict management at the Emory University Martin Luther King Centre in Atlanta, Allen Onyema, chairman of the airline has disclosed.
The training in conflict management and non – violence according to him, will equip the pageant and others to benefit from the three -tier training skills in resolving conflict related issues including insurgency and ethnic agitation in the northern part of the country .
The first leg of the training for the pageant alongside staff of FEHN and other capability builders will be handled by world acclaimed conflict resolution expert – Dr Bernard Lafayette Jnr, an ally of Dr Martin Luther King .
Disclosing this yesterday when the pageant paid a courtesy visit to Air Peace , Onyema said the airline would utilise the platform of the training to empower youths on how they could contribute significantly to bringing peace in troubled zones in Nigeria using the tool of dialogue and non – violence .
He said the airline is elated to work with the pageant as the values of the beauty and brains competition should be used to promote unity in Nigeria as well as the ideals of harmonious living among her citizens .
Onyema said after completion of the training in the American university the pageant will embark on a tour of the country to educate youths on how to use non – violence to resolve issues bordering on insurgency, ethnic agitation and other activities.
He said she will pursue causes that would promote peace and national unity and non – violent struggle in Nigeria.
“We are happy to receive and host Miss Nigeria, it is a great honour that she is visiting Air Peace. We are excited to identify with beauty and brains and ready to support this worthy cause. Air Peace and FEHN will support and fund her activities. This pageant will be encouraged to do more things. She will be encouraged to pursue the ideals of peace.
“We will sponsor her to Emory University in Atlanta at the Martin Luther Kung Centre for Non – Violence and Conflict Management, under the tutorship Dr Bernard Lafayette Jnr at the Kings Centre to learn and bring peace to Nigerian youths . Our mission is to ensure she uses the training to engender harmony in Nigeria’s diverse ethnic composition. There is need for dialogue among the youths to eschew violence as it is currently rocking some parts of the North .
“That is why this beauty queen will tour Nigeria to encourage youths, she will talk to youths as a trainer in national integration and embrace peace . He said she will be encouraged to pursue a pet project that will target broad nationalism, peace and non violence”, he said .
Onyema said the pageant will engage ex- agitators of the Niger Delta region to emphasize the need for promotion of peace, adding that ‘the military alone cannot resolve insurgency and unrest in the North . What is required is civilian non violent measures’.
In her remarks, the pageant commended Air Peace for the gesture.
According to Peter – Vigboro said, ‘I thank Air Peace for this gesture and I am passionate about the need to change the way young people think . I will do my best to see the whole process through. I promise not to disappoint.”