By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Center for Peace and EnvironmentalJustice (CEPEJ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with theInstitute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to continue the crusade ofpeaceful coexistence in the region and beyond.
This comes as the National Coordinator,CEPEJ, Chief Amb. Mulade Sheriff had on behalf of the NGO donated anexpensively built structure within their premises at Ugolo in Okpe LocalGovernment Area of Delta State for the Institute of Peace and ConflictResolution (IPCR) to operate as its South-South Zonal office free of charge tocover the whole of the Niger Delta.
In his address, Amb.Mulade said “I amdelighted to be here today to sign an agreement to formalize and deepen thepartnership between CEPEJ and the Institute for peace and conflict resolution(IPCR).
“We had thought we could sign this Memorandumof Understanding, MoU early, but circumstances did not allow.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us thattrust, partnership, and solidarity are essential for confronting threats topeace and security. This agreement is indeed a significant milestone in ourongoing collaboration.
“Strong peace building organisations likeours are more important now than ever for bringing communities together whiletrying to meet other Sustainable Development Goals.
“The MoU is not just a piece of paper as itcommits us to close partnership in the key areas of Peace building, ConflictResolution and Development of Society.
“For years, CEPEJ and IPCR have directedtheir joint focus and expertise to fostering local involvement in peacebuilding conversations and activities. We have come a long way, and now is theright moment for us to strengthen our cooperation and enhance our common focusand work policy.
“We live in demanding times. Nigeria facescomplex challenges that have profound implications for peace, security andinequality, and we must address the issue of an ageing population, the prospectof irreversible climate change and increased migration flows.
“With this Memorandum of Understanding, weare building a joint action from the local to global level, taking necessarysteps to implement the 2030 Peace Agenda and its SDGs. CEPEJ’s aim of signingthis GMoU with the IPCR is to open doors for other stakeholders in the NigerDelta region to key into the partnership and exploit the benefits for thedevelopment of our communities.
stability of the country, by attending to onecommunity at a time. We must translate this MoU from a commitment on paper to areality in the lives of the people we serve.
“Finally, I would like to sincerely thank theDirector General, IPCR Prof. Bakut Tswah Bakut, colleagues and friends here formaking this agreement possible. With goodwill, clear ambitions and a strongcommitment to work together, I will look forward to taking the next stepstowards our common goal of a peaceful, conflict-free, and developed society forall.”
On his part, Director General of theInstitute for peace and conflict resolution (IPCR), Prof. Bakut Tswah notedthat body is committed to providing Africa with policy options based onresult-oriented research while building capacities and intervening in conflictsspots to enable Africa emerge as a secure, peaceful and democratic continentwhere the principles of the rule of law and human dignity are respected.
Prof. Bakut noted that while the IPCR mandateis to develop and advise African government on peace and conflict resolution,he maintained that the Institute is a quiet organisation that do not make noiseabout its achievements, adding that the whole Niger Delta Presidential AmnestyProgramme (PAP) was discussed, developed and designed by the office.
He said there are so many similaritiesbetween CEPEJ and IPCR, maintaining that they all have a common vision to focusnot just Nigeria but the whole of Africa.
Prof. Tswah maintained that the MoU willbring a new dawn in Niger Delta, Nigeria and Africa as a whole.