By Abu I. Michael:
The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has commended the Director General, Institute for
Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Professor Oshita O. Oshita for his burning desire towards the
promoting peace in Imo State and Nigeria as a whole.
The governor gave the commendation at the opening ceremony of a 3-day workshop on conflict
prevention, tolerance and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for traditional rulers and Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) in southeastern Nigeria. The workshop was organized by IPCR supported by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held at Newton Hotel, Owerri.
The governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Imo State Peace and Conflict Resolution
Commission, Engr. Peter Ohagwa, said the institute has carried out several activities that encouraged
laying of structures for peace-building, promotion and conflict resolution across the country.
He said the state with the support of IPCR inaugurated about 300 Peace Corps Advocates working in
various parts of the state noting that meetings with Fulani herdsmen and other various ethnic groups
were consistently organized towards the prevention of violent conflicts in the state. According to the
governor, the workshop was apt as he urged IPCR and her partners not to relent in the promotion of
peace in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking in the same vein while declaring the workshop open, Abia State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon.
Ude Oko Chukwu, commended IPCR and UNDP for building capacities for peace building and promotion
as well as its prevention and management across the country.
Earlier, the IPCR boss, Professor Oshita represented by the UNDP Focal Person in IPCR, Mr. Emmanuel
Mamman, thanked state governments, organizations and individuals who were collaborating with IPCR
to make Nigeria a peaceful society.
Professor Oshita said the workshop was to enhance the capacity of traditional rulers to effectively and
efficiently carry out their age-long pivotal role in conflict resolution and peace building in their
communities. “Traditional rulers require requisite knowledge and skills to adequately respond and
prevent conflicts from becoming violent. They should be able to build social cohesion, unity and peace in
their communities”, he said.
He also says, “The inability of communities to manage disputes contributes to underdevelopment and
poverty. There are problems and there will always be. Tolerance is one way of negotiating solutions to
problems and traditional rulers are to be the mechanics. Premium must be placed on having an effective
conflict resolution and peace building mechanism in our communities”.