Stakeholders from Niger Delta communities have blamed lingering insecurity in the region to lack of political will by government to implement the developmental blueprint set up for the region. The stakeholders decried that political leaders, since 1999, have not demonstrated sincerity of purpose in tackling challenges facing the region despite lofty ideas and strategic model designed to develop the oil-rich region. These were stated, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at a town hall meeting organised by the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), in collaboration with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, tagged: ‘Niger Delta Regional Peace Building Strategy Implementation.’ Participants at the meeting, including the king of Evo Kingdom, in Obio/Akpor Council of the State, King Leslie Nyebuchi-Eke, noted that unemployment, nepotism, poor governance structure, among others, are some of the challenges causing insecurity in the region. The monarch said: “The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was created on the recommendation of traditional rulers of Niger Delta, but they hardly do anything with the recommendations, neither do they carry the traditional rulers along in things they do. Government and its agencies should be responsive in the work they are doing.” King Nyebuchi-Eke, however, urged the Federal Government to look at the plight of the region and carry out needs assessment to enable it implement the project properly. Programme Director of PIND, David Udofia, said the objective of the meeting was to create a framework for continuous multi-stakeholder engagement and support for state governments in establishing a regional security outfit that considers the uniqueness of each state. According to him, the development of a peace and security framework for the entire region, which would include addressing the needs of the people through effective conflict prevention, resolution and management through multi-stakeholder and inclusive approaches, is paramount. He assured that the fallout of the meeting will serve as a guide to various forms of violent conflicts in the region in a proactive, engaging, consultative and inclusive manner.
June 22, 2023
June 22, 2023