—Says without peace, there is no development
The Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme and Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), has said only peace will enhance Niger Delta’s development.
He implored agitators in the creeks to embrace peace, clear vestiges of violence and sustain developmental efforts of the government.
Boroh, represented by his Special Adviser, Maj. Martins Abdul (retd.), spoke in Yenagoa yesterday at the fourth edition of Miss Peace Bayelsa Beauty Pageant 2017 and Bayelsa Peace Awards, organised by PGR Entertainment.
The amnesty boss, who received a Distinguished Advocate of Peace Award, praised the pageant organisers for holding the event at a time the country and world needed peace.
He said: ”Without peace, there is no development. Now, we have problems in Niger Delta because investors are still afraid of coming. They are afraid because of threat posed by those in the creeks.
”As long as this happens, development will be elusive. The government is poised to develop parts of the country, including Niger Delta, but violence remains the bane. Without peace, there will not be development.
”So far, so good, in the last two years, the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Niger Delta has guaranteed peace. At the time the programme began, crisis was very high. Until August 2016 we still had problems.
“Fortunately, we have doused tension. We have stabilised the region.
”We can boast of pilots, engineers and specialists in professions. I urge parents, guardians and stakeholders to take this home to our children, our brothers and sisters that there is no alternative to peace.
”They (agitators) in the creeks should embrace peace so that we can develop the region.”
The Director, Miss Peace Bayelsa Organisation, Mr. Seleipre Tonbie, said the show began in 2011 to promote peace.
He said the pageant was a reminder of the proclamation of amnesty by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, adding that agitation led to the proclamation.
Tonbie said: ”The Miss Peace Bayelsa Beauty Pageant is aimed at creating role models, who will serve as an ambassador of peace and enhance a new strength synergy and spirit of the advancement of peace in Bayelsa and Niger Delta.
”We have the ideology that peace is not a mere absence of war, but a virtue that springs from the force of character.
“Promotion of peace through emulation of acceptable character representation becomes pertinent via pageantry, which showcases young, intelligent, confident, talented and creative women, who believe in their contributions to social awakening and growth. The quest for peace should be a conscious and collective effort to embrace change.”
The highlight of the event, which ended about 3a.m., was the conferment of Distinguished Advocate of Peace Awards on two ex-militant leaders, Ebikabowei Ben aka Boyloaf and Chief Reuben Wilson aka General Pastor.
Miss Samanta Davidson, representing Nembe Local Government, won this year’s Miss Peace Bayelsa. Miss Gbarian Ekpetiama and Miss Gbomo West emerged first and second runners-up.