–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Michael EKOKORUWE:
The special adviser to the governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on peace building and conflict resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor, has urged the people of Aboh, Ndokwa East, Kwale, Ndokwa West and Obiaruku, Ukwuani local government area of Delta State, to cooperate with the state government in his efforts to resolve conflicts and sustain peace in all parts of the state.
Chief Uzor gave the charge during the peace advocacy workshop for communities in Aboh, Ndokwa East, Kwale, Ndokwa West and Obiaruku, Ukwuani local government area of Delta State. He stated that “violent Community conflicts exist in nearly all communities and local government in the state”, noting that the situation places enormous challenge on the community leaders women and youths.
Uzor urged the people to be proactive, manage and handle conflicts in their respective communities and live peacefully with their neighbors without resorting to violent means. He maintained that the government of Okowa is “strongly committed to providing security for the Delta people and ensuring that they have peace and live in peace to actualize the vision of a stronger Delta”.
Speaking at Aboh, Ndokwa East local government area, Chief Pharmacist Paul Enebeli, commended governor Okowa for the SMART Agenda of Delta State, noting that peace building is very important to national development. He emphasized that taking peace to the grass root resolves crisis and maintain its sustainability. Enebeli urged the people to imbibe the virtue of making peace through dialogue and consultative forum.
For his part, Aboh divisional police officer, DSP Tuadum Dedu and the local government security chief, Mr. Elisha Ivimiya, stated that “where there is peace, there is development and progress’, stressing that without peace, there is no human and capital development. They urged community leaders to preach peace and say the truth always, adding that selfishness and greed ignites conflicts in communities. The security men also urged the people to understand the root causes of crisis and resolve such issues amicably.
While X-raying the peace situation in Aboh, Ndokwa East and Kwale, Ndokwa West local government area, hon. Jaun Governor and hon. Ifeanyi Osakwe, both chairmen of the council area, identified causes of conflict in the local government area to include, oil companies operating in the various communities, social change, leadership structure, traditional rulers tussle, president / youth leaders election and political appointments.
They urged the people to avoid the struggle for supremacy and jettison transfer of aggression which according to them are the causes of war and conflicts. The council chairmen reiterated the need for peaceful coexistence among members of different clans, noting that peace building using proactive methods can prevent intra-communal and inter–community conflicts.
The council chairman urged the people to always use dialogue in resolving disputes, just as they called on the leaders to hold meetings periodically towards resolving conflicts. They commended governor Okowa and Chief Uzor for the peace advocacy workshop, describing it as timely and fantastic idea meant to unite the people at the grass root level. The council chairmen urged the various community leaders to educate the people on government activities and information.
Speaking on the past legacies of Ndokwa West,, hon. Charles Emetulu, member Delta State house of assembly, representing Ndokwa West, called on the people to find out the remote causes of conflicts and have a negotiating focus towards resolving community crisis. He emphasized that “land lives on and only those fighting over the land that will die”. Emetulu noted that crisis emanates from communities over land and oil company activities.
Hon. Emetulu urged the people to caution their children over cultism activities which according to him create tension and crisis. He noted that political influence on the people through sentiments leads to hatred and conflicts. He urged politicians to be neutral to avoid conflicts, noting that resolving crisis through dialogue approach leads to peaceful resolution. He added that the court should be the last option to explore, even as conflict with peaceful approach does not degenerate to violence.
The highlights of the peace advocacy workshop was interactive section and goodwill messages by the various representatives across the three local government area of Aboh, Kwale and Obiaruku, Okwuani communities of Delta State.
While reacting to questions from representatives across the various communities, Chief Edwin Uzor condemn the myopic aggrandizement of some community leaders collecting money from oil companies at the detriment of the area.
He noted that delay to conflict resolution between communities is caused by no truth from the leaders and representatives of the people. Chief Uzor also condemn the choice of oil companies employing non- indigenes which according to him leads to conflicts. He noted that aged people in Community Development Committee (C.D.C) should be controlled; maintaining that the leaders should dialogue with oil companies and intervene for the people of the area.
On her part, Ambassador Mrs. Caroline Usikpedo, special assistant to governor Okowa on youth development, at the three local government area, spoke on women and youth as critical partners and change agents for positively promoting the peace agenda for a stronger Delta.
In attendance were traditional rulers (Okpaluku), Rt. Hon. Olise Emegu, former speaker, Delta State house of assembly, hon. Mrs. Benedita Osakwe, former chairman Obiaruku, Okwauni local government area, various communities men, youth and women representatives across Aboh, Kwale, Obiaruku, Ukwuani local government area of Delta State.