The Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), Kaduna, has stated that peace and security remain the panacea for growth and development of the Niger Delta region.
Co-Executive Director of the IMC, Imam Muhammed Nurayn, stated this at the weekend during the official inauguration of the Conflict Mitigation and Management Regional Council/Community Peace Observers (CMMRC/CPOs).
The inauguration was done during the body’s meeting with stakeholders in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The occasion also provided an avenue for the launch of a project tagged, ‘Community Peace and Dialogue Promotion Engagement’, organised by the IMC, South-South, in partnership with the Bayelsa State Government, through the office of the Special Adviser to Governor on Political Matters.
Nurayn proposed the adoption of an interfaith approach to sustain the peace, development and security of the state.
The IMC boss also announced the conferment of Peace Ambassador Awards to some persons in Bayelsa comprising Christian and Muslim leaders, professionals and non-governmental organisations.
He also inaugurated the Joint State Coordinators of the CMMRC/CPOs made up of coordinators in the state comprising Apostle Monty Abraham, Ahmed Ibrahim Ramadam, Dise Sheila Ogbise, His Royal Highness, Abasi Roosevelt Victor and Comrade Fortune Alfred.
He said the body had nominated Bayelsa among the states with an approach that would single it out as a peaceful destination for investments as well as a role model for peace initiative in the South-South region.
Among those conferred with the IMC Peace Ambassador Awards were the Nigerian Bar Association (Sagbama Branch) led by Ebinyu George Aderigha Esq, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) led by its Chairperson, Deme Pamosoo, Esq, the DO Foundation International, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) led by the State Commander, Mrs, Abieyuwa Ikhidero, among others.
Also conferred with the Ambassador of Peace award was the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government, Hon. Uroupaye Nimizuoa.
He urged religious leaders to do more in the area of adequate advocacy against rising incidence of youths membership of cult groups and violence in the society, advising the religious leaders to increase the preaching of peace, love and unity among youths.
He said despite the rise in places of worship across the divide, the increase in membership of cult groups and youths involvement in violence and killings was worrisome and challenging to the growth of future generations.