Saturday, June 19, 2021

CEPEJ Donates Building Complex To IPCR, Signs MoU With FGN Institute On Niger-Delta Peace-Building.

....As CEPEJ Partners Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution (IPCR) On Peace Restoration In Niger-Delta Region

By Victor Bieni, Asaba

Security stakeholders today witnessed a new dawn in Niger-Delta Region as globally acclaimed peace advocate, Environmental and Human Rights Niger-Delta Activist, and the National Coordinator of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) under the aegies of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government of Nigeria: Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to foster peaceful co-existence in the region and beyond.

The media learnt this today in a press statement made available to newsmen by CEPEJ Boss, Comrade Chief Sheriff Mulade at the NGO's Secretariat branch office at Asaba, Delta State stated that, despite the signing of MoU between CEPEJ and IPCR- the two peace advocating bodies, that Chief Amb. Mulade Sheriff had on behalf of CEPEJ donated an expensive building complex, structure for the Federal Government Peace Advocating Institute to kick-start its peace-building, conflict resolution operational activities in the Niger-Delta Region.

According to him, "CEPEJ made this donation within the premises of CEPEJ at Ugolo in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State for the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to operate as its South-South Zonal office free of charge to cover the whole of the Niger Delta".

The press Statement as made available to the media reads in parts: "l, Comrade Chief Amb. Sheriff Mulade, the National Coordinator, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), is very glad today to had signed an agreement to formalize and deepen the partnership between CEPEJ and the Institute for peace and conflict resolution (IPCR). We had thought we could sign this Memorandum of Understanding, MoU early, but circumstances did not allow".

"The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that trust, partnership, and solidarity are essential for confronting threats to peace and security. This agreement is indeed a significant milestone in our ongoing collaboration".

“Strong peace building organisations like ours are more important now than ever for bringing communities together while trying to meet other Sustainable Development Goals. The MoU is not just a piece of paper as it commits us to close partnership in the key areas of Peace building, Conflict Resolution and Development of Society".

“For years, CEPEJ and IPCR have directed their joint focus and expertise to fostering local involvement in peace building conversations and activities. We have come a long way, and now is the right moment for us to strengthen our cooperation and enhance our common focus and work policy.

“We live in demanding times. Nigeria faces complex challenges that have profound implications for peace, security and inequality, and we must address the issue of an ageing population, the prospect of irreversible climate change and increased migration flows. These challenges are complex and interwoven and can only be tackled by working together at the individual, local, regional, national and global levels".

"They require muti-sector approaches and call for new ways of working and also for policy coherence built through engaging the Federal Government, other civil societies, the private sector, households and individuals. We represent the people at the grassroots and we do understand best, their needs and interests. Our partnerships with stakeholders make the grassroots a unique place to foster progress".

“With this Memorandum of Understanding, we are building a joint action from the local to global level, taking necessary steps to implement the 2030 Peace Agenda and its SDGs. CEPEJ’s aim of signing this GMoU with the IPCR is to open doors for other stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to key into the partnership and exploit the benefits for the development of our communities".

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to highlight a priority area of our partnership. In terms of peace, Nigeria was scored very low in the 2016 Global Peace Index and rated same with other countries such as Libya, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, and other war torn countries. The federating units making up the country are yet to truly recognise one another as constituents of one nation due to religious, economic, political and social factors, amongst others".

“The Nigerian environment is unnecessarily prone to conflict, so much so that even government interventions and international support are proving inadequate in addressing the problem".

"Therefore, the onus falls on civil society organisations such as CEPEJ aided by indigenous philanthropists in the country to do the much they can to ensure peace and stability of the country, by attending to one community at a time. We must translate this MoU from a commitment on paper to a reality in the lives of the people we serve".

“Finally, I would like to sincerely thank the Director General, IPCR Prof. Bakut Tswah Bakut, colleagues and friends here for making this agreement possible. With goodwill, clear ambitions and a strong commitment to work together, I will look forward to taking the next steps towards our common goal of a peaceful, conflict-free, and developed society for all.”

CEPEJ Boss, Comrade Amb. Chief Sheriff Mulade in the press statement Commended the good responses of the Director General of the Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Prof. Bakut Tswah Bakut who responded and pledged continuous partnership with CEPEJ".

He quoted the IPCR Boss, Tswah Bakut to had stated that, "The Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution (IPCR) was established in February, 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that the Institute is under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is primarily a research centre, a think-tank and an agency to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity for the promotion of peace and conflict prevention, management and resolution".

In the words of Prof. Bakut Tswah: "IPCR is committed to providing Africa with policy options based on result-oriented research while building capacities and intervening in conflicts spots to enable Africa emerge as a secure, peaceful and democratic continent where the principles of the rule of law and human dignity are respected".

"IPCR mandate is to develop and advise African government on peace and conflict resolution, he maintained that the Institute is a quiet organisation that do not make noise about its achievements, adding that the whole Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) was discussed, developed and designed by the office".

CEPEJ Boss, Comrade Chief Amb. Sheriff Mulade noted further that, after he had done on the signing of MoU and handing over of building to the IPCR during the ceremony that, Prof. Bakut stated that the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), under the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has commenced a nationwide awareness campaign to curtail the ongoing insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, killings, farmers-herders clashes and destruction of properties, especially the government facilities across the country.

Bakut asserted that CEPEJ is a special NGO that needs to be partnered with by the Federal Government of Nigeria, stressing that at the level of the IPCR, his presence anywhere including his presence during the signing of the MoU is the presence of the federal government, adding that this new office will cover the whole of the South South.

IPCR Boss added that, there are so many similarities between CEPEJ and IPCR, maintaining that they all have a common vision to focus not just Nigeria but the whole of Africa.

Meanwhile, Prof. Tswah maintained that the signing of the MoU will no doubt bring a new dawn in Niger Delta, Nigeria and Africa as a whole, noting that CEPEJ has overtime proven itself to be worthy of the Federal Government partnership, stressing that with this new development, they are happy and looking forward to achieve their mandate in Africa.

While he concluded that the ceremony was well attended by both officials of CEPEJ, IPCR, Police and other critical stakeholders within and across Delta State.

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