As Non-governmental Organization, Corporate, bodies, individual and government have continued to proffer solution for sustainable peace in the Niger Delta, the Special Adviser to the governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi on good governance and ethics, Hon. Eloah Ake has said the many years of non-violent struggle of the Ogoni People brought about democracy.
Hon. Ake made the revelation in an interview with newsmen shortly after the launching of partners for peace network at the Adolescent Center, Iriebe in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Special Adviser stated that the Ogoni people contributed greatly in their quest for fairness, equity and justice, especially during the military era where it was even difficult to discuss in secret without been arrested.
He commended late Ken Saro Wiwa for using an instrument of peace to drive home the demand of Ogoni people.
The S.A however stated that the government to constructive criticism and prepared to accepting the suggestion of the opposition. Hon. Ake who maintained that government is open to dialogue said advocacy is the way out that empowers the people to be heard.
Earlier, chairman of the occasion, Mr. Noble Pepple, the Executive Director, Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) stated that the importance of peace and conflict resolution cannot be over emphasized in the Niger Delta, saying peace is a major condition for developing the society.
Mr. Pepple said in the past, the very negative impact of violence was shown among us and its important to collaborate with NGO’s organizations to bring development to strive, noting that the foundation for partnership Initiatives in the Niger delta (PIND) is one of their partners.
He maintained that the launching will help in bringing many young people together which are vanguard of peace who should not be among the violent ones.
Earlier, the Executive Director (PIND), Mr. Sam Daibo said the organization was established to provide support for socio-economic development programmes in the Niger Delta.
He stated that PIND believes in the power of the people, hence the building of capacity of organizations because according to him, “If there is no peace, the economy grinds to a halt and there can never be development without peace” he said.
Daibo however, called on the people to reflect the reality and promote peace in the different communities as peace is everybody’s business by engaging is good communication and love one another.
Mr. Daibo warned that in the absent of peace in the Niger Delta there will be lost of livelihood which will tricely result to unemployment and poverty.
Also speaking, Dr. Dara Akara, the programme Director (PIND) inform participants that the funding for the project is from international donor partners like UNDP with other private donor contributors.
He maintained that PIND also get sponsorship from Chevron a multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta while they partner with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
Dr. Akara said at the peak of the crisis in the Niger Delta, economic activities were paralised and advice the people to rise above that at any time.
In his paper presentation, titled peace foundation for better livelihood, Prof. Mark Anikpo of the University of Port Harcourt said peace is the social condition that creates harmonious relationship.
Prof. Anikpo stated that violent and conflict disrupt better livelihood. According to the university Don, justice is an integral part of peace and injustice permits conflict among the people. He cited the situation where consumers are marginalizing producers.
He mentioned some African countries where conflict has caused killing, destruction, lost of properties and under-development.
In an interview with journalists after the programme, Prof. Anikpo agreed that the crisis in the Niger Delta emanated from injustice and call on the government and the people to put peace in proper perspective to avoid reoccurrence while advising the government at all levels to bring development to the communities in the Niger Delta.
Commenting further, Mr. Dennis Flaming said coming together with a good terms of reference to work with and a set of principles to guard the effort of the network shows how much consensus the people have on the issues. The progamme manager, partners for peace, Mr. Collins Imoh have earlier called for the terms of reference for the partners for peace network. ###