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FG Seeks Peace In Niger Delta As Development Organisations Launch Transformative Project

“In an atmosphere where there is no peace, there won’t be a government.”

The Federal Government has emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, saying it is a key region of the country.

The government also agreed that in an atmosphere where there is no peace, there would not be a government.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, represented by a Director (Main Office), Simon Tyungu, stated these during the launching of a transformative project

by development organizations aimed at fostering sustainable change.

The project which was the child of Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN), Academic Associate Peace Works (AAPW) and Partnership Initiative for the Niger Delta, (PIND), is a community-centered approach to transforming criminality and violence in the Niger Delta.

With funding from the European Union, the initiative seeks to counter the root causes of conflict and promote inclusive community security approaches.

Akume said, “In an atmosphere where there is no peace, there won’t be a government. You will agree with me that issues of security and criminality are not only critical to the Niger Delta but also in every society, whether it is a state, a village, or a country as a whole.

“As you’re already aware, the Niger Delta region is a key region of the country where we desire absolute security and peace.”

The Country Director of SFCG Nigeria, Fatima Abubakar Madaki, said, the event marks a significant milestone in efforts to empower communities and build resilience in the Niger Delta.

According to her, through collaborative efforts, the consortium aims to foster inter-community collaboration, address socio-economic grievances, and promote environmental sustainability in the region.

Abubakar ssid that it is crucial to recognize the profound impact of collaborative peacebuilding efforts between partners, communities, government, security agencies and the private sector, as well as the international community.

She said, “Today’s launch signifies a renewed commitment to the vision of a peaceful Niger Delta, drawing inspiration from past successes and the resilient spirit of the communities we serve.

“Moreover, we are also excited to note that the project closely aligns with relevant state, regional and national initiatives aimed at addressing conflicts and criminality in the region. At the state level, the project closely aligns with the various state government’s economic and peacebuilding programmes. 

“In Delta State for instance, the state government acknowledged the project’s alignment with the government’s ‘MORE’ initiative which is a summary of its developmental and peacebuilding blueprint. In Bayelsa State, the government identified the potential impact of the project in contributing to the mitigation of ocean surge and other environmental pollution challenges in the state.

 “Today we have the opportunity to empower our youths and women to be part of the development structure of the region and create alternative incentives where violence and criminality will no longer dominate the headlines of the Niger Delta.”

The Deputy Head of the European Delegation, Zissimos Vergos said with the support of the European Union and with the political commitment of the federal and state governments, a new narrative can be put together, and a theory of change can be proposed. 

He said, “But there must also be a demonstration of sustainable change, not just evasive promises. We need a valid approach to move forward. We all know we cannot address the structural problems of the region directly. But what we can do is to highlight the paradigm shift and the theory of change that can convince a lot of people. While we are engaging in this place, I need us to see Nigeria achieve its goal of becoming the giant of Africa – a secure, inclusive, and prosperous nation.”

Friday Olokor, Abuja 

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