On October 7th 2006 Bernadette Strebel awarded the African Icon of Peace Award 2006 to the official governor of Edo-State in Nigeria, his Excellency Dr. Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, for his efforts in making Edo-State to the most peaceful region in West-Africa.
The celebration was held in the new EXCO Chambers of the government building in Benin City and was transmitted by the national Television broadcast. The department of protocol had invited leading persons of the government such as the highest judge and the president of the appeal-court, representatives of the Monarchy , his Royal Highness, the honourable Elisabeth Edomwandagbon – Commissionar of Education, and the First Lady Mrs. Eki Igbenedion.
In an up-rousing speech Bernadette Strebel emphasised on the necessity of acceptance, tolerance and unity between all religions, because peace in Africa is decisive also for Europe and the whole World. Further she presented the peace-project Africa Initiative for World Peace initiated by her on Oct. 6th 2006.
Speech of the president of the
Bernadette Strebel World Peace Association
2006, held at the Government House in Benin City – Nigeria
Excellency, the Executive Governor of EdoState,
Distinguished Members of the State Executive Council,
The Hon. the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly,
My Lord the Chief Judge,
My Lord, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal,
All other protocols duly recognized.
With great joy and honour, we are here today to acknowledge an Icon of Peace in Africa.
We came here a long way to celebrate some important events for Nigeria, for the Edo State and more
important … for Peace.
My name is Bernadette Strebel and I am here in my function as president of the Bernadette Strebel
African Peace Foundation with domicile in Spain.
Your Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen, you all know our partners in Europe and now please permit
me also to introduce our partners in Africa Mr. Festus Onogholo, our African representative and Coordinator of the Africa Initiative for World Peace. Mrs. Ekaette Onogholo, President of the
Bernadette Strebel African Peace Foundation – here in Nigeria and her assistant Mrs. Nancy Okoh.
Six years ago, I received a help crying letter from my friend Festus Onogholo where he was
complaining about the situation of religions in his country… the constant differences, fights and the
State of women discrimination, in relation to other in this sense more advanced countries he visited
already. This was actually the start of Peace Initiative for this country and lot has been established
My first appearance in this county was to establish and anchor a Light-Pillar for Love, Peace and Unity
in this EdoState. Thousands of people attended and were connected at the same time, and this drop
in the water became to a waves.
The Organisation started to accumulate funds for an ambitious Peace Project in Nigeria and today we
see the first results:
The Bernadette Strebel African Peace Foundation is operating a Women-House for Women in
An African Peace-OM-Temple has been built on a piece of land we bought as a meeting place for all
religions, cultures, races and colour.
We are happy to inform you the Inauguration will be today 7th of October, 2006.
An African Peace Academy is planned serving as a school for children from 6 years old on. And an
International Congress Centre, to unite all religious, cultures and races is also in planning.
Another ambitious project planned is the TREES for PEACE project with the aim to plant1million trees
donated by Europeans and others. In order to stop the desert from moving. for this we have sent and
received back, a letter of intent to and from the Com missioners of Environment of this State, we were
advised that two officials and our Co-ordinators to come to Spain to discuss final details.
And there is still much more to do.
All these men and women have been working limitless for those ambitious goals, putting in their heart,
love and resources, for unity and peace, and my special gratitude I would like to express to Festus
who has worked with great dedication. Your Excellency, distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, kindly join us in encouraging them to continue
this light work project, which carries the essence of love, peace, respect and unity of all religions,
cultures and races in Africa and the whole world.
Africa today with its cultures, religions, political and ethnic diversities is now the hot spot of conflict,
war, and lack of security. In a world of a global village, this is no longer an African problem alone. Your
peace and prosperity is tangled with our peace and prosperity. The cry of the weak in Africa is loudest
in Europe and America, for example, of the girl child, who your precious wife Mrs. Eki Igbinedion has
rescued from today’s modern days slavery in Europe. Children are caught in battle as in the midst of
across firer in a ranging warfare of cultural, religious, political and ethnic diversity in Africa.
Many men and women of peace in Europe and America would have loved, to rescue the oppressed,
but the sovereignty of a country will be at war with such men. The cars you drive are from our
countries, the honey, ginger, medical herbs, which keep us going, are from your countries. Our
happiness is tangled with yours, your peace is our strength and prosperity.
Your Excellency, we have not only come on behalf of the Association Bernadette Strebel World
Peace to acknowledge your personal effort in promoting peace and unity of all religions, we have also
come to thank you and say on behalf of all men and women of peace and Goodwill in the world, to
thank you for your own striving for peace in your capacity as a man of peace and Governor of this
State, which lead (led) to making this State the most peaceful religious State in the whole of
Niger/Delta region, Nigeria and Africa at large.
Your Excellency, by the power vested in me, in the Status as president of the Association
Bernadette Strebel World Peace and by the board resolution of June 21st 2006, I hereby’ invite our
Africa Co-Ordinator Mr. Festus Onogholo and the president of the “Word of Peace Project”, Cecilia
Sifontes, to kindly join me in presenting this prestigious Gold award to his Excellency, Dr. Chief Lucky
Nosakhare Igbinedion. The Africa Icon of Peace Gold Award for 2006.
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, today it is more than necessary to produce a new
consciousness… A new energy… a energy of unity and love, of sharing and giving, of respect, of
oneness, because we all depend on each other. If we start with this energy now, it will sweep over the
whole country. And out into the world and touch every man and every woman in the street. We want to
live the example, we want to be encouraging, inventive, and a well of inexhaustible joy. We want to
recognize the only one source for all there is and see the good in every face, because no so called
saint is without past and no sinner without future. If we listen to our hearts, they will lead us the way for
I would like to encourage you to continue your work together with us and give us your very
appreciated support for a better Nigeria, a better Africa and a better and peaceful world.
Your Excellency, in view of the above we would be very grateful if you can take some time out of your
busy schedule to commission this centre in EboTown today and attend the Inauguration of the first
Thank you very much and God bless you.