Niger Delta - Coalition Canvasses Inclusive Peace Processes

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This Day (Lagos)

Abimbola Akosile

7 April 2010

Lagos — The Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition (NDCSC) has called for a well organised, inclusive, consultative platform to promote and sustain peace in the embattled region.

According to a statement issued by the coalition's Chairman, Mr. Anyakwee Nsirimovu, such a platform must be populated by men and women with relevant capacity, and experience for peace-building and conflict transformation, to interface with the Federal Government on matters bordering on fundamental, contentious issues of just peace.

The Coalition welcomed the immediate attention, which the administration of the Acting President is giving to the peace-building process in the region, by way of reviewing the Amnesty process which is yet to effectively take off, allegedly due to poor visioning, management and absence of an inclusive approach.

"The NDCSC notes that every step taken before and after the announcement of the Amnesty process has been exclusive, rather than inclusive. This rather than win the trust and confidence of all stakeholders, has alienated some stakeholders, marginalised others, and generally caused divisions, even amongst ex-militant leaders and their followers", the statement read.

The coalition also noted the absence of effective communication, consultation, and negotiation at different levels, which are precondition for establishing a sustainable peace at different levels and between the major stakeholders.

"The Management of the Amnesty process thus far has not paid deserved attention to political-psychological variables necessary to identify and dismantle sentimental walls, which refer to attitudes, emotions and inclinations that inhibit constructive and durable transformation of conflict. This has increased the chances of mis-perceiving the process, mis-evaluation of the interest at stake and lowering of motivation to join and act", Nsirimovu added.

To him, "An integrative moral-political climate is absolutely necessary to solve the problems of the region in a collective, constructive and sustainable manner. There is the absence of a culture of trust and cooperation, which makes collective action possible, effective and sustainable".

The NDCSC called on Acting President Jonathan to offer "the kind of new leadership that can project a clear and compelling image of the future that is inclusive, not exclusive, and ways and means to get there."

"Every major conflict across the globe that have made some progress towards resolution in the past twenty years or thereabout, has taken an inclusive and participatory approach seriously", the coalition admonished.

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