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HAVIDS Niger Delta News Center Seeks Collaborators for International Day for Peace

The HAVIDS Niger Delta News Centre for Environment & Development, a Nigeria-based organizational member of NCDD, has just sent out an important communique on the organization of the 2006 International Day for Peace in Niger Delta. The Day for Peace is being organized for November 2006. They are seeking feedback and collaborators as they organize this event. If you are interested in being involved in the 2006 International Day for Peace in the Niger Delta, or if you have feedback or ideas for HAVIDS, email Harry Awolayeofori Macmorrison at thehavids_socialworkers@yahoo.com. To see the full text of the Communique, click on the link below.

COMMUNIQUE OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA’S NIGER DELTA

At the instance of THE HAVIDS Niger Delta News Centre
for Environment & Development: A non profit, equal
opportunity, multi-disciplinary, training, consulting
and development non governmental organisation poised
to preserve the environment, foster peace, enhance
education and community development incorporating
HIV/AIDS awareness, reproductive and environmental
health, micro finance-poverty alleviation and civic
education with headquarters in Port Hacourt, Nigeria’s
Niger Delta, a conference (deliberative and dialogue
forum) was held with about two hundred and fifty (250)
participants drawn from a wide spectrum of the
society: government, civil society, youth, women, religious
and traditional leaders across the Nigeria in December
2005 at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre Multi
Purpose Hall, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State of
Nigeria.

The ceremony was chaired by Elder Robert
Ama-Tariah: Ex regional manager of First Bank of
Nigeria and leader of a foremost socio-cultural and
political organisation in the Niger Delta and attended
by the representatives of the Executive Governor of
Rivers State, Speaker of the Rivers State House of
Asssembly, Rivers State commissioners of women affairs
& sports; and the representatives of the chairmen of
the Niger Delta Development Commission and Nigerian
Bar Association-Rivers State council.

Speakers and discussants included Barrister Anyankwe
Nsirimovu: human rights activist and legal luminary
based in Port Harcourt; Chief, DR Anyamebo K.
Okorosaye-Orubite: senior lecturer-University of Port
Harcourt, traditional ruler and advisory board member
of the conveners and Mrs Toru Ofili, JP: Rivers State
Commissioner for women affairs.

Several presentations were made by experts and
resource persons and there were useful debates and
discussions on issues relating to sustainable
peace, security, human rights, international co-operation
and service in and by Niger Delta(ns) for Nigeria in
particular and global development. The conference and
its dialogue agreed on the following points:

Participants confirmed the value of the conference
in providing the peoples of the Niger Delta region of
Nigeria to express their views. It also expressed its
gratitude to the conveners and that the year’s
theme “Having Faith in the Niger Delta for Human
Rights, Service and International Co-operation: Common
Values & Purpose in a Globalised Economy for the Peace
and Development of Nigeria” was apt.

Participants requested more of such forums and
further requested the conveners to extend the forums
to all the local governments and states of Nigeria’s
Niger Delta.

Participants consoled with the governments and
peoples of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that of
Rivers State and in particurlar the immediate families
of all the air crash victims in Nigeria in 2005
especially those of the school children in the
Sosoliso crash in Port Harcourt of December 10, 2005
and urged the governments and personnel involved in the
administration of infrastructure such as
aviation, transport and power to draw up
policies, institutions and frameworks that will
avert such occurrences and make Nigeria’s Niger Delta
safe for foreign and local investors and for
generations to come.

Participants requested the international community
to mount pressure on the Federal Government of Nigeria
to respect the socio-cultural, economic and
environmental rights of the peoples of Nigeria’s Niger
Delta and that the international community should
assist the peoples of the region to control their
resources for their benefit and that of Nigeria and
the world at large.

Participants affirmed that sustainable development
can only be achieved in a just, fair and peaceful
environment where the present generation of mankind is
able to meet their genuine needs without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their needs
as well in the course of economic development efforts
and the protection of the global environment.

Participants affirmed that the peaceful co-existence
between the oil/gas companies and communities is an
ideal relationship that must be pursued vigorously
through community participation in the relevant
decision making processes aimed at adequate
environmental protection and sustainable development
and further urged the multi-national corporations
domiciled in Nigeria’s Niger Delta to extend to the
peoples of the area social infrastructures enjoyed
exclusively by the multinational corporations such
as power abd other utilities and also assist in
mechanising agriculture for food suffiency
and independence on the oil/gas sector as the means of
foreign earnings.

Participants urged the mult-national corporations
domiciled in Nigeria’s Niger Delta to provide
employment and economic empowerment to the peoples of
the region especially for the youths and women at the
rural areas to douse not only the prevalent
restiveness but rural-urban drift.

Participants urged the governments to set up
enquiries into the issues of tension and contradiction
such as
marginalisation, domination, inequity, inequality, fairness
and justice amongst the ethnic groups of Nigeria’s
Niger Delta, government, oil/gas exploration companies
and host communities and within the various host
communities and further requested the Federal
Governments and the multi-national corporations, states
and local government councils to be transparent and
accountable to the generality of the peoples in
executing projects in the area.

Participants urged Nigeria’s Niger Delta youths to
imbibe peaceful qualities such as
tolerance, patience, forgiveness and self control in all
their endeavours and further condemned the use of
violence by the peoples of the region especially the
youths in agitating for their perceived rights.

Participants urged the elites of the region to
desist from subverting and/or diverting social and
economic amenities of the area and assist the
governments and peoples of the area in alleviating the
plights of the region and its peoples and further
urged the governments to institute development
programmes to cater for the grassroots people.

Participants commended the government in its
anti-corruption efforts but that it should not be
selective and urged it to ignore those demanding it to
ammend the constitution to allow a third term for the
president and governors as they are selfish interest
to the demanders.

Participants requested the conveners to apart from
the award to individuals already instituted, institute
award for corporate bodies and communities for
peace, reconciliation and development in subsequent
annual events. It further urged the international and
local donors-partners (individuals and corporate
bodies) to assist the conveners to execute their
projects across Nigeria’s Niger Delta.The conveners
were urged to convene “THE CHANNELS OF HOPE” to bring
to the Niger Delta development partners from abroad
and local partners to explore avenues of collaboration
with the local communities in its April 2006 World
Earth Day Commemoration and Advisory board
innauguration.

Participants commended the efforts of the Executive
Director of the THE HAVIDS Niger Delta News Centre for
Environment & Development: Mr Harry Awolayeofori
Macmorrison for putting his ideas on peace for oil/gas
exploration communities in Nigeria in his book “Hand
Book on Peace for Oil/Gas Exploration Communities in
Nigeria”

This discussion is supported by the WestEd Web Dialogue project.
http://www.webdialogues.net/

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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