Speaking during the inauguration of the Council yesterday (05/08/15) in Asaba, the Governor said, “the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council which has just been created is an improvement on the Delta State Advisory Council that had been in existence since the year 2000”.
The Governor explained that the new advisory council has been repositioned in line with global trends in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and transformation, as well as post-conflict reconciliation and peace management.
“Peace building covers a broad range of issues such as inclusive growth, economic development, educational advancement, health improvement, religious harmony and environmental sustainability,” the Governor said, adding, “it seeks not only to resolve or avert conflicts, but to also formulate policies and build relationships that help to maintain peace and justice”.
He observed that the aim of peace building in any society is the enthronement of human security and that refers not just to the absence of violence but the presence of food security, financial security, educational security, health security and social security.
While emphasising that he believes that government should continue at all times, to find ways to strengthen the foundation of the unity of the divergent ethnic groups in the state, Governor Okowa said he has deemed it fit to appoint these men and women of proven integrity, exemplary character and statesmanlike disposition into the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council on account of their outstanding personal qualities.
The Governor listed the terms of reference of the Council which has a foremost educationist and former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire as Chairman to have “power to study the general socio-economic and political situations in the state and render advice to government; advise on issues that can lead to healthy relationship between the Executive arm of Government; the Legislature and the Judiciary, carry out in-depth studies and render advise on issues which can strengthen harmonious relationship with the Federal Government and other states of the Federation.”
Also, the Council is to “study the causes of conflicts among the various communities in the state and advise on measures to effectively mitigate them; advise on appropriate peace building mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of the various peace programmes of government; and deliberate and advise on any matter referred to it by government.”
While noting that the Council has a serious task before them, Governor Okowa disclosed that the Senior Political Adviser to the Governor, Chief Festus Ochonogor and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural Development and Peace Building, Bro. Emmanuel Ogidi would assist the Council during their deliberations.
Governor Okowa decried “kidnapping, cultism, sea piracy and crude oil theft with their attendant economic and environmental challenges,” adding, “I am also concerned about the emerging trend of inter/intra communal land disputes, conflicts between oil companies and their host communities, post-amnesty agitations as well as clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers as they constitute serious security threats that we must confront with boldness and decisive action.”
Responding on behalf of the Council, Prof. Oyovbaire observed that the terms of reference was explicit and assured the Governor and Deltans of the Council’s preparedness to carry out its mandate with the fear of God and to the benefits of Deltans.
Some members of the Council include former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Brodrick Bozimo, Senator Patrick Osakwe, Senator Stella Omu, Chief Wellington Okrika, Chief Nkem Okwuoofu, Pharm. Paul Enebeli, Dr Pius Sinebe, Chief William Ibori, Rt. Revd. Cyril Odutemu, Chief Chris Agbobu, Chief Dennis Etalokku, Chief Grace Boyo, Major Patrick Egone, Chief Robert Ejifoma, Dr Esther Uduehi, Bishop Triumph Osian, Prof. Emmanuel Nwanze, and Chief Joseph Egigba.