Posted November 20, 2018
Delta State government has given an insight into how its succeeded in making the state a safe haven for investors despite no fewer than 220 communal clashes recorded in the last three years even as it’s called on the federal government to dredge the River Niger to check devastating flooding experienced by the coastal communities this year.
Special adviser to the Governor on Rural Development, Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor, who was speaking when he played host to the members of the Indigenous Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State Council, pleaded with the federal government to reconsider its position and see the need to dredge River Niger to safe coastal communities.
“Governor Okowa is not a magician that can stop flooding, the way forward is for the federal government to dredge River Niger and expand the dams to address the issue of flooding, though it is a natural disaster.”
He said Okowa’s administration invests a lot in peace building and conflicts resolution by its proactive and quick intervention in conflicts and looming crises, stressing that it is one of the major tools that have been helping in stabilising the peace and security across the state.
According to him, “From the intervention in the crisis ridden communities under the peace building department and those where they loom, we have discovered that major causes of inter personal, intra communal and inter communal conflicts including greed, inordinate quest to forcefully and undemocratically manipulate the instrument of governance, unholy desire by some leaders to perpetuate themselves in office through unwarranted tenure elongation, marginalisation in the distribution of the common wealth of the people, high handedness on the part of leaders, ineptitude and undue favouritism by some traditional authority.
While pleading with community leaders at various levels to help the government to maintain peace and security, Uzor also cautioned the youths against uncontrolled acts of exuberant, flagrant disobedience to the rule of law and brazen disregard for laid down customs and traditional practices.
He said the deliberate policy of all inclusiveness and the participatory posture of governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration has endeared him to all, thereby, reducing the tendency for people to agitate and become restive.
On the lingering crisis in Ogbe-Ijaw and Aladja in Warri South West LGA, he explained that the government is on top of the situation as machineries have already been put in place to resolve the crisis once and for all.
“The essence of Delta State Peace Advisory Council put in place by Governor Okowa is to wade into any crisis and we have come across 220 crises, we have been able to resolve over 80 per cent of the crises ranging from oil companies vs host communities, president generals vs traditional rulers, youths groups among others.”
He also accused some of the community leaders of instigating some of the crises in their areas by arming the youths to ferment trouble because of their selfishness, regretting the loss of lives as a result of these crises.