-Blank. NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Michael EKOKORUWE:
CHIEF Edwin Uzor, Special Adviser to Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, has urged the people of Olodiama community, Ughelli South local government area and Kpakiama community, Bomadi local government area of Delta State to maintain existing peace as government is set to resolve the conflict in the area.
Uzor gave the advice during a one day stakeholders sensitization workshop on “enhancing conflict prevention through community early warning and early response for sustainable peace in Delta State”, held at Otu Jeremi council secretariat hall, Ughelli South local government area of Delta State.
He stated that “government is aware of the crisis in the area and we are doing our best to curtail the crisis”. “You cannot attack violence with violence, I plead with you people to keep the peace in the area and very soon, we shall bring you people together to resolve the crisis finally”, he said.
Uzor urged the people to be patient as government is on top of the situation to acettain the root cause of the crisis. He noted that his office has commenced strategy towards peaceful resolution of the conflict in the area, adding that government is passionate about the situation and will soon resolve the crisis amicably.
The stakeholders sensitization workshop good – will messages to the representatives of various communities in Ughelli South were from the chairman of Otu Jeremi local government area, hon. Dr. Richard Kofi, member representing Ughelli South constituency, Delta State house of Assembly, Hon. Reuben Izeze, represented by Hon. Comrade Ashemuke Stephen and Chief E. D. O. Obofukoro (JP), member Delta State Advisory Council.
While speaking on ‘understanding strengthening the foundation for communal early warning and early response, a tool for effective and sustainable violent conflict prevention in Delta State’, Professor Sam Ukala, urged the people to give the signal of an impending violent conflict, sensitivity analysis and make appropriate recommendation to the authority and be proactive to forestall the coming danger.
He noted that, “to strengthen the foundation of community alertness, sensitivity and proactiveness, each Community would need to fully participate in the activities of early warning and early response”, adding that ‘everyone from school age above must be alert, vigilant and promptly report possible risk factor or threats to peace in the community”.
Also speaking, Professor Uwomano Ben Okpevra, guest speaker who spoke on “Building an effective relationship and partnership between the traditional rulers, president’s general and community development committees, as a strategy sustainable peaceful coexistence in our communities in Delta State”, listed the major causes of conflict to include, poor communication, lack of compromise, needs not met, prejudice, intolerance, self – interest, ignorance, desire for power, lack of empathy and making assumptions.
Okpevra stated that, there is urgent need for synergy between the traditional rulers, president’s general and community development committee, as a strategy for sustainable peaceful coexistence in our communities in Delta State.
On her part, Ambassador Caroline Usikpedo – Oliseowe, Special Assistant to Governor Okowa on Youth Development who spoke on “Women and Youth Involvement in Community early warning and early response system for sustainable violent prevention”, noted that “women play key roles on critical elements of a sustained peace and usually focus less on the spoils of war”.
She stated that a strong network of women and youths in communities that had gender training in early warning and early response with skills and knowledge as a means of prevention and strengthening thier research and analytic skills through councelling will prevent the youth from violent activities.
The traditional rulers from the area commended Governor Okowa and Chief Uzor for the stakeholders sensitization workshop, which according to them was timely and apt towards creating a peaceful environment for sustainable development of various communities in the area.
Chief Uzor was accompanied during the sensitization workshop by Chief Sam Chukwuji, executive assistant to governor on peace building and Community relation, Chief Samson Gordon’s, Prince Ugen Solomon, Morris Unueme and Dcn. Gabriel Abighe, both SSA and SA to governor on peace building and conflict resolution.
In attendance was traditional rulers, presidents general and community representatives from various communities of Otu Jeremi, Ughelli South local government area of Delta State.