OSPRE commends FG’s efforts at rebuilding trust with South-East communities

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By Olasunkanmi Onifade

The Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE) has called on the Federal Government to complement security interventions aimed at rebuilding trust with communities in the South-East for peace and development.

Nike Babalola, Head, Communications and Public Relations OSPRE, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the advocacy was made at a two-day workshop on peace held in Awka, Anambra.

The workshop was in collaboration with the Anambra Government, the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP) and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Babalola said the workshop with the theme “Sustainable Peace, Inclusive Recovery and Durable Security” brought together a host of state actors and civil society organisations from across the zone.

The Director General OSPRE, Mr Chris Ngwodo, pledged the commitment of OSPRE to collaboratively develop multidimensional solutions to the multifaceted challenges of the zone with its partners.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, commended OSPRE for the initiative and noted its many areas of convergence with the Peace in the South-East Project (PISE-P) recently flagged off by his office.

The deputy speaker, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr Sam Hart, expressed his commitment to collaborating with OSPRE to advance the cause of peace in the zone.

In his remarks, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Gilbert Ibezim, said there was need to collaborate and engage with all critical stakeholders, including government, traditional rulers, security agencies and academics.

He also highlighted the need to address the root causes of conflict and the importance of dialogue and reconciliation.

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Soludo commended the efforts of OSPRE in promoting peace and urged all stakeholders to continue their efforts towards resolving the challenges in the Southeast region.

“In recent years, the South-East zone has been plagued by the activities of violent criminal gangs and a secessionist insurgency.

“Attacks on police officers, the military, and other security institutions across the region have heightened a climate of insecurity,’’ he said.

The Chairman of the Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, highlighted the importance of acknowledging the economic effects of the insecurity on the people of the region.

He also called for a sustained effort to address the situation in the Southeast which he described as “complex.”

The Executive Director of WANEP, Dr Chukwuemeka Eze, called for greater interplay “between civil society, policymakers, and international partners” anchored to “an efficient, collective, and holistic strategy.

He said such synergy would address the situation in the Southeast and the country at large.

Inaugurated in December 2022, the Concord Initiative, OSPRE’s flagship national peace-building programme is a convening of early warning, early response, peace, security and development actors.

The initiative, established in 2022, focuses on addressing human security crises in various conflict-affected locales across the federation.(NAN)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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