Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, advised citizens and communities to eschew hostilities, saying there was no alternative to peaceful living.
Okowa gave the advice in Asaba while receiving the report of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry into intra-communal crisis in Evwreni in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
The crisis in the community had led to a number of deaths and massive destruction of property, caused displacement of persons and almost crippled socio-cultural and economic activities in the community.
According to Okowa, there is a need for communities to realise that there is no alternative to peace and any community that gets into trouble does not really look at the future of its people because as long as there is trouble in any community, families are impacted negatively.
The governor assured that the commission’s report would be processed with a view to raising a White Paper that would permanently resolve the lingering crisis in the community.
He commended the chairman and members of the judicial panel for their painstaking effort in turning in their report on time, assuring that the government would continue to focus on peace-building in the state.
“I want to reassure you that as a State Executive Council, we are going to look at the report very closely and constitute a committee to produce a white paper as quickly as we can, so that we can make decisions.
“There’s no alternative to peace in our state. As a state, from the very day we got in on May 29, 2015, we have continued to stay focused on peace-building in our state, realising that a peaceful environment will be in a position to develop the state and attract investors.
“With peace, our people can live in such a manner that they are happy with themselves, and God has helped us in that regard. But, we have to continue to ensure that the peace is sustained,” he said.
The governor said that Nigeria was bedeviled with security and other economic challenges but assured that God had helped his administration in managing peace in the state.
“Nigeria today is very troubled, but by God’s grace, we will continue to manage the peace in Delta State.
“Obviously, we have our security challenges but we have been able to work hard with several arms of government involved in peace building and conflict resolution. So we are glad that this panel has added its efforts by this report in helping us to build peace in Evwreni area.
“Insecurity does not give room for development of any community and even for investors to come in.
“It is our hope that the people of Evwreni community will realise that enough is enough and that they have done a lot of damage to themselves and that there is a need to embrace peace,” he stressed.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry, Justice Michael Obi, had while submitting the report, said that the panel received 23 memoranda from parties involved in the dispute during the public hearings of the Panel.
Obi disclosed that the panel came up with seven recommendations for consideration by the State Executive Council, which would help the state government to entrench sustainable peace and unity in the community.
He thanked the governor for finding him and members of the panel worthy to serve, and pointed out that the assignment afforded them a unique opportunity of ascertaining the possible causes and solutions to the intra-communal crisis in Evwreni.