Mr Allen Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, on Thursday in Lagos said that he would train 1,548 youths on nonviolence and leadership skills.
Receiving an Award of “Ambassador of Change” given by the Centre of Change Initiatives, an NGO, the Air Peace boss said that the training would be given to two youths in each of the country’s 774 local government areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Air peace was honoured with the award for his displaying patriotism in evacuating 512 Nigerians fleeing xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
While calling for unity among all Nigerians, Onyema said nonviolence and leadership skills were veritable tools needed to counter the spate of violence and insecurity in the nation.
He recalled how he deployed nonviolence skills in the de-radicalisation of the Niger Delta militants, adding that he was ready to partner with nonviolence institutions in the Netherlands and the U. S. to train the youths.
According to him, the social media has been used negatively to fan the embers of ethnicity.
The Air Peace boss noted that the challenge of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and the rescue efforts thereafter had shown that what unites us was greater than what divides us.
Onyema commended the Centre for Change Initiatives for the award and called on the government and well-meaning Nigerians to support civil society organisations in bringing about a better society.
In her remarks, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Centre for Change Initiatives, said:
“We are gathered here today to celebrate an uncommon milk of compassion on humanity and compatriot comrade.
“We are glad that our selfless philanthropist would be installed into the hallowed ‘Hall of the Prestigious Ambassadors of Change and Man of the Year’ of our organisation and by extension, the Nigerian people.
“Chief Onyema, as a Change Ambassador, has proved this by his life-saving interventions that one does not need to have access to public funds before impacting on humanity,’’ Odumakin said.
She recalled that Onyema’s bold step and singular intervention had brought about restoration of the dignity of the Nigerian people all over the world.
She said that Onyema, as a co-traveler in nation building, had set an unassailable pedestal of patriotism and heroism for the entire Africa continent.
“It’s our belief that the recognition and celebration of this great gesture would invoke more humanitarian spirits in other countrymen,” she said.