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Niger Delta: Peace, security, non-violence, remain key to devt- Group

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FILE PHOTO: Gunmen in Niger Delta during militancy


By Victoe Edeghomor

The Fostering Advocacy and Community Empowerment ( FACE) Initiative in conjunction with a Dutch based organization CORDAID has unveiled a fifteen point nonviolent techniques to community leaders across Bayelsa state and the Niger Delta at large to sustain endearing peace and Development in the region.

Unveiling the techniques at a one day non-violent conflict management strategies workshop held in Yenagoa with over 56 community leaders in attendance, the program officer of the project, Mr.Ngowari Alfred noted that the region in recent times has used the arms struggle to send their message to the Federal Govt and other international groups for intervention yet much results has not been recorded as violence begets more violence.

The program officer disclosed that over time mock elections, newspapers, journals, students strike, display of portraits, radio and television talk shows, new media are strategic non-violent techniques that can yield results and tasked community leaders not to encourage any form of violence in their domains.

Mr.Alfred who has over twenty years’ experience in community development project hinted that peaceful demonstrations, rally, protest letters, civil disobedience, public speeches, Slogans, Songs, mock funerals, statements from religious groups are simply non-violent techniques to engage stakeholders for peace.

 DoctorTari Dadiowei a Peace and Development Expert in his Views noted that for the communities to develop the issue of leadership especially in choosing who to lead should be on merit, sound character and competence above personal gainsand nepotistic interest.

 The university don, identified the issues of insecurity, impunity, poor leadership and followership, land tussle, chieftaincy tussle, absence of basic amenities,cultism, drug use, sea piracy, environmental pollution, poverty as common challenges faced in the region as he opined that the workshop is aimed at equipping leaders to take action and solve conflicts related problems using traditional methods.

 Theparticipants drawn from community chiefs, women and youth leaders expressedhope for a better Niger Delta region, especially as the 2019 election isgathering momentum, according to them, the masses should turn out en masse tovote credible leaders in all positions and raise the concern on how presentrealities adversely affects their livelihood and environment.

Conflict handling styles, principles of non-violent, strategies for developing a non-violent campaign, the role of leadership in non-violent conflict and its resolution in the Niger Delta communities and non-violent techniques are some topical issues discussed at the one day workshop.

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