By Emeka Nwokocha
Foremost Nongovernmental Organization (NGO), promoting peace in Niger Delta, the Development Initiative for Community Impact (DICI), on Tuesday 4 May, 2 rounded off a 2-day Conflict Early Warning Response Training, tagged: “Promoting Social Cohesion through mitigation of conflict drivers in the coastal community of Aja-Amita,” Warri North local government area of Delta State.
The training, which kicked off on Monday May 3, at Cyprian hotel, Ekpan, was attended by the 15 members of the newly constituted Aja-Amita Inclusive Peace Committee (AIPC).
Speaking to the participants on the importance of the training, the Executive Director of DICI, Mrs. Rachael Misan-Ruppee said the training was put together by DICI and sponsored by PIND (Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta). She stated that the objective of the training was centered on building lasting peace and promoting unity in Aja-Amita community to create a peaceful atmosphere that would catalyse socioeconomic activities and infrastructural development in the community in the coming years.
She said, “this training will strengthen your capacity in peace building skills to be able to identify conflict drivers and foster peaceful coexistence among the people of Aja-Amita community. These skills will enable you carry out your duties as peace ambassadors. It is a task you all must take to heart to ensure unfettered peace is restored in your community (Aja-Amita). I urge you to take this training serious as the future of Aja-Amita in terms of peaceful coexistence lies on your shoulders.
Continuing, she noted that the lingering conflict in the oil rich Aja-Amita community would be totally resolved in no distant time when the peace committee sets out to work in the interest of the people.
The resource person, Mr. Uzezi Agbor, a renowned dispute mediator, brought his wealth of experience to bear on the training as he schooled the participants on core subject areas of the training, comprising identifying conflict situations; identifying the negative impacts of conflicts; preventing conflicts and mitigating conflicts. The participants also learned peace building techniques; causes of conflicts; stages of conflict; conflict management techniques; conflict prevention mechanism, types of violence, understanding perception and role of communication in peace building.
The training was interactive; comments and contributions from the participants were pointedly noted and discussed by all while the resource person moderated the session to a conclusive end.
The training progressed with another resource person, Ambassador Prince Ebilade mounting the podium to teach the participants conflict analysis. He identified the actors in conflict and expatiated on conflict resolution strategies which include: understanding how conflicts occur; knowing where conflict is taking place; recognizing triggers to episodes of conflict; and knowing the parties involved in the conflict, and conflict mediation tools.
The training provided opportunity for group task as the participants simulated conflict management procedures under the supervision of the resource person, Mr. Uzezi Agbor, and Mrs. Rachael Misan-Ruppee.
The highpoint of the training was formal inauguration of the 15-man Aja-Amita lnclusive Peace Committee (AIPC) by the Delta State Coordinator of Partners for Peace in Niger Delta (P4P), Jennifer Okotie. In the course of the inauguration, Okotie said that AIPC has officially been inducted as an arm of P4P. She charged the members of AIPC to work as a progressive and united team to prevent and mitigate conflict in Aja-Amita community. She stated the core responsibilities of AIPC to include regular holding of meetings, monitoring of Aja-Amita community and reporting incidents of conflicts to Integrated Peace and Development Unit, (IPDU), an incident tracking platform of PIND. Continuing, Okotie charged AIPC to maintain unbroken synergy with IPDU to enhance their performance as peace ambassadors.
The Chairman of AIPC, Hon. Sunny Jeye, commended DICI and PIND for organizing the training, stating that he would work assiduously with the members of AIPC to ensure lingering conflict in Aja-Amita community is totally resolved to pave way for unhindered socioeconomic and infrastructural development in the community.
In the same vein, Mr. Alfred Jemine, Secretary of AIPC, and other members of AIPC pledged their commitment to promoting peace among rival fashions in Aja-Amita so as to making the community a peaceful home for all.
The training was rounded off with presentation of certificate of participation to the participants.
Dr. (Mrs.) Umoru Sule was present at the training.