Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 30 August 2015 | 2,609 times
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, says the provision of basic social infrastructure and youth engagement would engender a peaceful and secured society
The governor, who said this during an interaction with journalists in Asaba, explained that though security agencies played a major part in ensuring the safety of lives and properties, the provision of programmes to engage the youths and the communities was also a sure way of maintaining peace in the state.
According to him, “Ensuring that our state is peaceful and secured is not just about the security agencies and the structures that we have, because if you have an educated populace who are doing well you are more likely going to have a very peaceful environment and when you have a very hungry populace who are ignorant you are likely going to tackle a lot of security issues going forward.”
“We have continued to build into the consciousness of our people that we need peace to grow as a state, we need a peaceful environment if actually we are going to attract investors and industries into our state and the people have come to realise now that it is so much better to live peacefully among ourselves and see ourselves as one people. We are trying to deepen that peace now because one of our SMART agenda is to proactively build peace.”
Senator Okowa explained that the state government was partnering with traditional rulers, and other stakeholders especially the youths on the need for a peaceful environment so that development can take place, asserting: “We also leverage in getting the traditional rulers to understand that they have a role to play so we must keep a very close relationship with them and also engage them in trying to play some roles in securing peace in their various domains.”
We also understand that the youths are important, and if you have flash point areas; over time we have been able to identify youths who are leaders within their various communities and we have to find a way of getting them to buy into the peace programme, “this we believe will help us influence positively their peer group and make them understand that we need to keep a peaceful environment, and that we can actually live as one and be our brothers’ keeper.”
Governor Okowa said that his administration has designed programmes to take idle youths from the streets and turn them to entrepreneurs stating: “We believe that the best thing to do is to have a peace building process, an engagement process that takes away the idle youths from the streets so we are beginning to design programmes that can create wealth and jobs for our youths, we started programmes such as Youth Agricultural and Entrepreneurial Program and the Skill Training and Entrepreneurial Programme.”
The governor commended the security agencies for their efforts in curbing crime in the state, adding that further collaboration as well as intelligence gathering and sharing would go a long way in providing lasting peace in the state.
•Photo shows Gov Okowa.
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