- Â As African for Peace Centre unveiled in Delta
Sylvester Idowu in Warri
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Paul Arkwright; his Liberian counterpart, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh and three prominent traditional rulers on Saturday appealed to Nigerians to embrace peace ahead of 2019 general elections.
They spoke at the unveiling of ‘African for Peace Centre’ and groundbreaking ceremony of ‘African Heritage International Academy’ located at Ugolo, near Osubi airport at Ugolo-Okpe in Okpe Local Government area of Delta State.
Ambassador Arkwright, who was represented by Louis Edwards, stressed the need for peace to reign in the country and particularly in the Niger Delta, noting that the region is key to the development of Nigeria.
In the same vein, the Liberian Ambassador urged Nigerians to learn from the experience of his country, stressing that Nigerians should show love, tolerance and cooperation amongst themselves.
Noting that peace is a big factor for any nation that wants development, he urged Nigerians to guard against anything that will threaten the peace in the country.
The Orodje of Okpe kingdom, HRM, Major General, Felix Mujakperuo; Etsu Nupe, the Emir of Bida and Chairman, Niger State Emirs Council, General Yahaya Abubakar and King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass kingdom and Chairman of Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council warned on the dangers of toying with peace in the country.
The Orodje particularly urged the international community to see any threat to peace in Nigeria as a global threat adding “when there is crisis in this country, Africa is in problem. People of Lagos alone can overrun the West African countries and cripple their economy. So this should be seen as a global threat”.
Etsu Nupe, HRH Yahaya Abubakar told the gathering that he had to take excuse from a meeting presided over by Emir Sanusi in Abuja on peace building for the event which bordered on peace too because of the importance he attached to peace.
Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, who represented Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, expressed delight that the CEO of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Comrade Sheriff Mulade, the brain behind the projects, is from Gbaramatu kingdom, where ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo hails from.
“That kingdom agreed for the peace we are enjoying since October 2016. We are happy because we want investors to come here. They can only come when there is peace”, he added.
National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade said his NGO has, over the years, been working to influence public policies in social, economic, political and cultural spheres in order to bring about justice and positive change in human rights and environmental issues.
â€œCEPEJ is in a hurry to invest in institutions and people. We strongly believe that young people should be involved in the process of regional transformation as they are key in achieving sustainable development in an atmosphere of peace; hence the decision to establish the African Heritage International Academyâ€, he added.
Top security Chiefs, including the General Officer Commanding 6th Brigade, Port Harcourt; Commander, Sector One of JTF, Warri witnessed the occasion.