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Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu who is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has asserted that his goal for initiating Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), was to foster peace, unity and development in the region.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through Vice President Kashim Shettima, officially unveiled the project at Bende Local Government of Abia State on Friday.
The initiative is ultimately pushing for the adoption of a non-kinetic approach to resolving the problem of insecurity bedeviling the South East.
The Deputy Speaker in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Levinus Nwabughiogu, said that the project was also aimed at promoting reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts.
The statement which was obtained by The Eastern Updates in Umuahia read: “When I embarked on the South East Project, my vision was clear — to foster peace, unity, and development in our region through a non-kinetic approach. The South East has long been known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant communities, and enterprising people. Yet, we have faced our fair share of challenges, including socioeconomic disparities, insecurities, political tensions, and occasional conflicts.
“Our goals in the South East Project are clear. We aim to promote reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts. We recognize the need to address the root causes of conflict, including socio-economic disparities and political tensions. Empowering communities is another crucial goal of the project, providing them with the necessary resources, skills, and opportunities for sustainable development.
“We also believe in the power of engaging youth in the peace-building process. By empowering young people with education, training, and leadership opportunities, we are investing in the region’s future. Inclusivity and social justice are core values we aim to foster, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, have equal access to opportunities and resources.
“Cultivating a culture of peace is essential in our journey. We must promote dialogue, tolerance, and non-violence as core values within our communities. By working towards these goals, we aim to create a more peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive region for all its residents”.
Kalu who represents Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State added that the initiative represented a significant milestone in the journey toward lasting peace and development.
He however called for inclusion and social justice in the political system.
“It is a comprehensive framework that encompasses various strategies, programs, and projects aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict, promoting reconciliation, and empowering communities.
“But let us remember that the journey towards peace is not a destination. It is an ongoing process, one that requires our unflinching commitment and dedication. We must continue to foster inclusivity, promote social justice, and empower our youth. We must invest in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. We must create opportunities for economic growth and sustainable development. And above all, we must cultivate a culture of peace, respect, and understanding.
“As the Pioneer of Peace in the South East Project, I am deeply grateful for the support and collaboration of each one of you. Together, we have shown the world the power of unity, the strength of diversity, and the beauty of our shared humanity. Let us continue to build upon the foundation we have laid, to strive for a South East that is prosperous, peaceful, and inclusive”, Kalu said.
Igbo Leaders and eminent personalities including South East Governors; national assembly members from the zone; the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Obi of Onitsha HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe; Ooni of Ife HRM Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; and the Emir of Bichi were among those present at the unveiling of the initiative.