By Emeka Nwokocha
The National Secretary of the Central Working Committee (CWC) at Partners for Peace (P4P) in Niger Delta, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, has commended the Edo Chapter of P4P for demonstrating commitment towards achieving sustainable peace in Edo state in line with the cardinal objectives of P4P.
Pastor Egedegbe gave the commendation on Thursday 8 September, 2022, when he visited the Edo Chapter of P4P on a routine oversight duty.
Addressing the members of Edo state chapter of P4P, Pastor Egedegbe said: “The routine oversight duty is a recent initiative of the national body to deepen the work of P4P across the nine Niger Delta states with a view to scaling up achievements in promoting peace in the Niger Delta. Continuing, he said: My meeting with you today is to know how the Edo state chapter of P4P is faring; to get an update on your activities, ongoing projects / programmes and challenges; and to look ahead to improving the achievements made so far in promoting peace across board, knowing that we are peace builders, we must ensure we operate in a manner that reflects our character as peace advocates.
Presenting a concise outline of the activities of the Edo chapter of P4P, Barr Agatha Osieke, coordinator of the chapter, appreciated Pastor Egedegbe for the visit, saying: “It is a welcome development as it will spur us to double our commitment to achieving greater goals in our interventions and advocacies.
Continuing, she stated that since the Edo Chapter of P4P was established in 2012, a lot of progress had been made through the commitment of the members. She mentioned some of the achievements to include interventions in gender based violence in the three senatorial districts of the state; putting modalities in place to start peace clubs in schools as soon as they resume from holiday; wide spread interventions covering 15 out of the 18 local government areas in the state, and building capacity of the local government coordinators on how to carry out interventions to promote peace.
The state coordinator further added: “The commitment of members to the activities of P4P may not be unconnected with the huge success we have made in recent years.”
Speaking further on the achievements of the Edo chapter of P4P, the secretary of the chapter, Mr. Godwin Aghimien, and Mr. Kingsley Kefe, Edo representative at CWC, said that several advocacies to major stakeholders in the state had been embarked on and robust collaborations had been activated with critical stakeholders in the state, including the office of the Chief of Staff of the government, Commissioner of Public Safety, and the Commissioner of Police. Continuing, they expressed delight in their collaboration with NAPTIP, noting that both organisations had jointly executed programmes successfully in recent times.
The members, however, noted some challenges limiting the P4P’s activities, stating the following as most challenging: Paucity of funds, late release of funds for execution of projects, and bureaucratic bottlenecks in preparation and approval of proposals.
Reacting to the litany of achievements made by the Edo chapter of P4P and the issues raised, Pastor Egedegbe commended members of the executive for sustaining mutual cooperation with the members of the chapter, stating that: “The commitment demonstrated so far, undoubtedly shows that the Edo state chapter of P4P is on the right track to making greater achievements in the coming years.” He charged them to maintain the sail to greater heights as they commit to promoting peace in Edo state.
On the issue of delay in release of funds, Pastor Egedegbe tasked the executive members on early submission of proposals, stressing that timely “retiring” of executed projects accompanied by proposals for new programmes and projects is key to fast-tracking release of funds.
He doused their fears about delays in release of funds for execution of projects, saying: “The administrative arm of Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is very efficient and committed to ensuring timely implementation of programmes and projects in tandem with PIND’s guidelines.”
On the way forward to ensuring sustainability of P4P’s work, Pastor Egedegbe harped on the compelling need for more streams of funds. He said: “Look beyond the funding from PIND, reach out to organisations that have interest in your activities, put together a detailed proposal outlining your areas of interest, including your achievements and engage stakeholders within Nigeria and across the globe that have capacity to fund your programmes and projects. That way, you will be able to attract funding to guarantee sustainability of your activities in the coming years.”