C/River Stakeholders Convene for Niger Delta Peace and Security Network Meeting

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In a collaborative effort to enhance conflict management and security of life and property in the Niger Delta region, stakeholders from various sectors gathered for the Niger Delta Peace and Security Network Meeting, organized by the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND). The meeting, held on Friday in Calabar the state capital metropolis focused on facilitating coordination among stakeholders working on peace building, security, and development in the region NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

During the meeting, important figures such as ASC Iyamba Elizabeth Edak, Surveyor Gloria Soyombo, Solomon Ndem, and Ben Usang and a host of others shared insights and perspectives on the initiatives geared towards fostering peace and security in Cross River state and the enlarged Niger Delta region.

Surveyor Gloria Soyombo of the Department of Conflict Resolution and Management of the Cross River State Government (CRSG) commended the efforts of the Niger Delta Peace and Security Network (NDPSN), expressing optimism about the potential for collaboration to contribute to lasting peace in Cross River state. She underscored the importance of government support in sustaining peace-building initiatives and emphasized the need for proactive measures to address land-related conflicts, especially during farming seasons:

According to Soyombo, “The peace of the state is the peace of the government. If there’s no government presence in whatever you are doing then it won’t work well, just like we all agreed today that once there’s peace in the land, there will be good governance. Government will key into all your programmes and support you in whatever venture. We will always come in as partners for peace and progress of Cross River State. Most crises in Cross River State are land related because Cross River is an agrarian state, and then once it is farming season like this we have crisis cropping up from everywhere”.

Solomon Ndem, the facilitator of the meeting, outlined its objective of fostering collaboration among partners in peace-building, security, and conflict resolution. He highlighted the importance of engaging diverse stakeholders and maximizing synergies to address challenges effectively: “Like I said, it is a partnership issue. Those are partners in peace, partners in security and partners in conflict resolution. So bringing them all together in one place to share ideas outside what the government is doing, and what we can do as partners in bringing peace to the society”, he explained.

On her part, ASC Elizabeth Edak Iyamba, representing the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), highlighted the role of the Peace and Conflict Resolution unit in mediating disputes, particularly in civil cases and landlord-tenant conflicts. She emphasized the accessibility of the unit to the public and encouraged community members to seek resolution through peaceful dialogue.

Iyamba disclosed that, “NSCDC mediates over disputes such as landlords and tenants dispute. We meditate over civil cases. You can walk into any NSCDC office and ask for the Peace and Conflict Resolution unit. You can come in through referrals. You can come in through petitions. You can also get in touch with the phone numbers we already published,” she said.

Ben Usang a participant reflected on the significance of the multi-stakeholder engagement, noting the constructive dialogue and exchange of ideas among participants. He emphasized the importance of conflict sensitivity and mainstreaming in enhancing the impact of peace-building efforts, emphasizing the need for clarity on the roles and responsibilities of security agencies: “Understanding the relevance of mainstreaming other issues to what you are doing in making the society better is very critical. And the particular topic in question, Conflict Sensitivity, is important; because many times in trying to do our work we actually fuel crisis when we really think we are doing something. We were made to understand the need to maximize the positives and of course play down on the negatives,” Usang observed.

Feelers suggests the just concluded Niger Delta Peace and Security Network Meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas, share best practices, and explore opportunities for collaboration in promoting peace building, security, and development in Cross River State and the broader Niger Delta region.