The Peace in South East Project (PISE-P), is gaining wide acceptance due to its significance in the rebuilding of peace in the Southeast.
This new approach looks good in the sense that the members of the National Assembly from the Southeast extraction agree to apply a non-kinetic method in tackling insecurity and economic challenges currently bedeviling the region.
Lawmakers from the Southeast region can utilise non-kinetic methods to help the area. This can be done by attracting more constituency projects to the various constituencies and districts in the region. Additionally, they can hold periodic townhall meetings with the people to understand their immediate needs. The lawmakers should also collaborate with the governors from the region to provide direct impact palliatives to improve the lives of the people. Furthermore, they should interface with the Federal Government to bring in more facilities, federal institutions, and agencies to create jobs for the youths and women in the region. This will give them a sense of belonging and improve their overall well-being.
This is the essence and objective of this PISE-P initiative. Therefore, being a novel initiative, the governors, elected officials at the National Assembly and state assemblies, and stakeholders from the region must rally around and embrace it. To achieve this, there’s a need to put away any form of rivalries and partisan politics and work with concerted effort.
Above all, This PISE-P initiative remains a panacea for peace in the Southeast region because it adopts a non-violent approach which makes it easier for the people to embrace it wholeheartedly. Findings have shown that this approach is the best as it has worked in many of our African countries, especially the West African region.
It is no longer news that the Southeast region of Nigeria has in the past few years witnessed a high level of insecurity which has culminated in the kidnapping of innocent citizens and ransom paid for these hapless individuals to regain their freedom. Other nefarious activities such as armed robberies, ritual killings and all forms of uprisings have made the region continually lose its socioeconomic importance. But the good news is that the insecurity situation in the area will soon be a thing of the past.
It is noteworthy to express that the Southeast region is the hub of entrepreneurship and innovation. Thus, the widely known and accepted apprenticeship programme stands to be advanced and supported to thrive for the benefit of the private sector, youths, and women. Therefore, PISE-P will provide, anchor, and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
However, beyond the PISE-P initiative, there are other ways by which a lasting peace can be achieved in Igboland.
We may never have thought of seeking multiple options in tackling the myriad of challenges bedevilling the Southeast (peace inclusive).
To begin with, have the people of Southeast thought of the need to harness digital technology in improving the economic well-being in the region? In the 21st century, digital trade is innovative, and promoting it in the region will enhance our dominance in trading. This is where trained professionals from the region and those in large-scale businesses can come together to utilise digital trade in creating more micro and macro enterprises which will, in turn, create massive employment for our teeming unemployed youths from the region. Moreover, creative industries which are in Onitsha, Aba, and other parts of the Southeast can become part of this digital tech which will in turn also create job opportunities.
In addition, it is very important for governors and all stakeholders from the Southeast region to lend their collective support towards this novel initiative to situate complimentary developmental goals in their respective states where there are comparative advantages. Through financial assistance from the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB), these goals such as SMEs, production centres, etc will create a lot of job opportunities for our youths and women.
Furthermore, when all the aforementioned approaches are put to work it will no doubt help to bring lasting peace which will also attract those in the Diaspora, international donor agencies, and not-for-profit organisations to come in, and pull their resources together to boost the economic development of the region. Incidentally, the Southeast region at present commands a sizeable population globally. These highly skilled persons are making giant strides in the field of healthcare and are ready to step in and transform the region, thereby making it a medical destination once peace is achieved and sustained.
The Southeast can also seize the opportunity of the Federal Government privatisation to improve the situation in the region through a public-private partnership which will also generate employment and help in curbing restiveness.
It is to be noted that the PISE-P initiative as a non-kinetic approach towards tackling insecurity in the Southeast will help in renewing the hope for a feeling of sustainable peace in the region.
In conclusion, the official unveiling of the PISE-Project will take place in December at Bende Town in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State. It will also coincide with the homecoming and civic reception of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, the initiator of the project.
Let the envisioned peacefulness begin in earnest.
Ukoha is a former Minority Whip/Member, Abia State House of Assembly