Ijaw, Itskeiri and urhobo stakeholders in group photograph with officials of PIND in Warri, Delta State.
By Badmus Shina
The Warri Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP) programme which is a product of the Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, constituted for the peaceful co-existence between Ijaws and Itsekiris ethnic groupings in Delta State, is set to move to another phase in its capacity building.
The sensitisation programme which started from Warri North, to Warri South West and finally berthing in Warri South, at the King George Hall on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, brought in many participants who were interested in becoming peace ambassadors.
The coordinator of the programme, Chief Africas Lawal made it known to GbaramatuVoice that the initiative brings about Ijaws and Itsekiris togetherness; a peace building platform for peaceful coexistence between the two ethnic nationality.
He said, “One of the action plans that brought about the formation of Warri MSP was to bring in different diverse groups, government representatives, local government representatives, traditional rulers, institutions and so on, to start designing how they would want the awareness of peace programme to go into communities and this brought the idea of the Warri MSP town hall.
“We had one at the Warri North in Koko about two months ago. We also had last week at the Warri South West and today we just had a very successful programme here at Warri South and the idea was just for the messages of peace building among these two ethnic nationalities; there is the need for development, the need to come together to speak with one voice, the need to see themselves as brothers and sisters, the need to avoid conflict that divide them.”
He disclosed that the second phase of the programme was that PIND would continue to build members capacity, so the people would be equipped more on how to handle cases of conflict to ensure sustainable peace.
He said, “When we talk about capacity building, we know that what we are expecting to do is more on peace building and when we started the formation we had a lot on capacity building we did; conflict revolutions, leadership resource mobilisation, so we might be scaling some up, maybe advance learning. So we are still working and we have to also look at the gaps that we see among members.”
As usual, government officials, as well as security agents were present to give their professional opinion how best to attain peaceful resolution.
DPO of A Division, Warri, Onyeke Udeviotu addressing the people said, conflict was a very old concept that predates man but when it arises, must be managed well.
He said that it was not out of place for conflict to exist between the Ijaws and Itsekiris but when the issues come, they are supposed to adequately resolve those problems.
Co-chairman of the Warri (MSP), Itsekiri extraction, Dr. Jeffrey Wiki said, if there was no peace, there is no development. He added that all must ensure to carry the emblem of peace as it would ensure all win.
It was disclosed that when there is peace, there is progress, understanding between both tribes, but when there is no peace, none of those will be eminent.
It was also pointed out that unity is not only about greeting each other and laughing together. But that there must be a plan between both to work together and bring development to their areas. This would be a tangible effect of their unity.
The people were encouraged as Nigerians to standup, but not in violence, holding their leaders accountable. And that the Ijaws and Itsekiri have to come together if they wanted to make maximum impact at the national level.
Further, the people were let to know that it is not the early warning that prevents violence, but the resilience of the people. To that effect, they were admonished to be resilient in their pursuit for unity and not give up.