NDDC Committed to Harmony, Peaceful Coexistence in Niger Delta, Say Mgt, Others

•Staff tour JK Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History

•Commission leads fight against cancer in region

Sunday Okobi in Lagos and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has expressed commitment to harmony and peaceful coexistence in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.

The commission also stressed the need for requisite knowledge and skills for personnel charged with responsibilities of implementing the intervention mandate of the NDDC.

At a capacity-building retreat organised for personnel of the department of Dispute and Conflict Resolution (DCR) of the commission, one of the speakers, the Acting Director of DCR, Goddy Ogedegbe Ayewumi, said the retreat was a demonstration of the commitment of the leadership of the current Managing Director / Chief Executive Director of NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, to sustain the existing peace and stability in the Niger Delta region “which is an important precondition for development.”

 He affirmed the commitment of NDDC personnel to promoting communal harmony and peaceful coexistence across the communities in the Niger Delta.

At the retreat, which was held in Lagos from February 1, with the theme: ‘Communal Dispute in the Niger Delta Region: The Role of NDDC Staff in Promoting Peaceful Resolution and Facilitated by Development Projects (PEDEP),” the Director of PEDEP, Francis Abayomi, reiterated the imperative of requisite knowledge and skills for personnel charge with responsibilities of implementing intervention mandate of the NDDC.

He commended the commission for prioritising capacity building for personnel of the Department of Dispute and Conflict Resolution, which he stated elaborately speaks to the proactiveness of the current leadership of the NDDC.

While declaring the retreat open, the representative of the NDDC MD/CEO and the Special Assistant, Legal, Mr. Ochu Chukwuma, urged personnel of the DCR and the strategic NDDC staff at the retreat to make effective use of additional knowledge and skills acquired to consolidate on the peace process across communities in the Niger Delta region.

At the interactive section, the management and other invited speakers observed that: “Conflict is a permanent feature of human societies, therefore, appropriate and timely response to conflict engenders peace and developmental by enhancing better understanding of some otherwise complicated issues and may lead to enhanced transparency with regards to public conduct or transactions.

 “Diversity and differences in ethnic, social and economic backgrounds may necessitate divergent opinions on issues and therefore requires conscious efforts to foster better understanding among stakeholders in the community.

“Imperative of inclusive engagement which must reflect diversity of gender-based concerns and primary interest of people with disability (PWDs) in the community.

“Sustenance of peace in the community is the responsibility of all stakeholders. It is incumbent on all stakeholders to strive to make attainment of peaceful coexistence a reality.”

As part of the NDDC capacity building retreat, the NDDC staff also toured the Yoruba Museum (JK Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History).

They stated the visit to the museum was also to encourage unity and collaboration between the NDDC and the Lagos State Government in the development of culture and tourism in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the NDDC has commenced the fight against cancer disease in the Niger Delta region.

The Commission in collaboration with a group, Brace-Hall International had a walk in the major streets of Port Harcourt yesterday, with the aim to sensitise the people on the danger of cancer and preventive measures for the deadly disease.

Ogbuku, who led the awareness campaign sponsored by the agency to mark this year’s World Cancer Day, vowed to take the campaign to every nooks and crannies of the region.

Represented by the Director, Rivers State Office of NDDC, Theophilus Alagoa, the MD said before the campaign, the commission had been carrying out health programmes and interventions by donating mammograms and other facilities to health institutions in the region.

He promised that the commission would go further by spearheading the provision of vaccines to prevent cancer disease.

On the awareness campaign, the NDDC boss said it was necessary for people to know their status to prevent deaths.

“If you don’t do enlightenment, people won’t even understand what you’re talking about as most times all they think when they are unwell is malaria but it can be cancer, before you know it, it becomes untreatable and the person dies.

“We don’t want this situation again so we are doing enlightenment on early detection and we are using this World Cancer Day as a springboard,” Ogbuku stated.

On her part, Director of Education, Health and Social Services of NDDC, Dr. Ezeugo Patience, said the interventionist agency had been involved in providing vaccines for early prevention of cancer and Hepatitis B disease and has donated over 200,000 vaccines.

He also urged Nigerians to embrace the National Health Insurance Policy to reduce the rate of out of pocket purchase of drugs, noting that cancer treatment is expensive.

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