|Cross section of indigenes and residents of Odukpani in Cross River State after the session|
22nd August 2019
The Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta (P4P) in Cross River State Thursday convoked a One Day Community Stake Holders Peace Forum in Odukpani LGA NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively.
The event which is themed ‘strengthening community actions for peace promotion in Odukpani local government area, Cross River State’ aims at deconscientising the minds of Nigerians resident in and indigenous to Odukpani LGA against violence and violence related activities, in view of inculcating an attitude of peaceful coexistence.
Ita Ekanem the representative of the Head of Local Government Administration HOLGA appreciated P4P for their advocasy in the local government area. According to him, ‘I stand here to represent the HOLGA who is unavoidably absent. She particularly expresses her appreciation for this NGO, P4P for taking it on herself to address peace in our community.
‘What might have started in December 2012 has continued till date unabated. The government has tried what it could to stop extinction. Records have indicated that Odukpani LGA is second in terms of violence and that is not good. Apart from the crisis we’ve in Odukpani LGA, there are other intra LGA crisis. Ito and Izu, Eniong vs Akwa Ibom, land disputes, chieftaincy issues, etc. When we got the information P4P we were happy. We’ll ensure that we don’t only have peace but peace is sustained.’
In his earlier brief opening address, the Coordinator of P4P in the state, Pst. Dr. Moses Abang who disclosed that P4P signifies peace informed that they were in Odukpani due to the littered instances of scuffles in the LGA. He stressed that it is the Odukpani people who will ensure there is peace in the local government area. His words in part : ‘We are Partners for Peace, and this is what we signify. You know we have some scuffles here and there that’s why we are here. We initiate peace. It is only by linking hands together that the vision of peaceful livelihood in our communities will be realised. You own the process of peace building because we will not always be here. It is you who will ensure that there’s peace in the community.’
According to a source close to P4P because Odukpani community of Cross River has experienced several communal violence leading to deaths of more than 11 people. The project is intended to engage stakeholders within warring factions to chart a way forward for a lasting peace. It will among other things, deliberate possible ways of adverting the reoccurrence of the major causes of communal clashes, by seeking to know the major incidents, bone of contentions and possibly identify major key actors in the conflict with the view to bringing them together for possible reconciliation. The project shall be carried out in phases beginning with interface with individual community members followed by stakeholders sensitization meeting of the four communities and ending with Odukpani Peace Forum (OPF) which will bring together stakeholders in all the four warring communities which includes; Mbiabo, Eniong, Obomitat Edere and Idim Ndon Eki.
The event which held at the Odukpani Council Secretariat at Odukpani Central saw prominent individuals resident in the affected communities in attendance including Mgbe Anthony, and Efoli ,M., the NSCDC representative, Chief Okon Etim Umo, High Chief Offiong Edet Archibong, Prince Offiong Joseph Offiong, Princess Arit Orok Bassey, Rev Maxwell Ndiyo, representative of Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands and Housing, Rev. Pst. E. N. Okon, Elder Etim Umo, etc.
This project was carried out in partnership with Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta PIND.