Rt Hon Benjamin Kalu, Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) and the Igbo Renaissance…by Henry Onyema Madubuike

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Universally and even in any realm of existence, peace is regarded as a state of tranquility and freedom from disturbance.

Though some have argued that peace is relative, it is also imperative to opine that same is absolute and cannot be situated in the realm of speculation with regards to how it should be because any spot in an apple, no matter how minute or infinitesimal, spreads a virus that truncates the wholesomeness of the fruit, making it violent to the human system and unfit for human consumption.

Peace, according to research is societal friendship and harmony in ABSENCE of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict and FREEDOM FROM FEAR OF VIOLENCE between individuals or groups.

It is also a state or period in which there is no war or war has ended.

Peace is also a human disposition, a personal or social orientation to secure freedom from distress and to foster a disposition to act, predicated on a fundamental recognition of freedom and dignity of all people.

It is also a process characterized by efforts to NEGOTIATE FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE through the creation of social bonds within and across groups of people. It can also be viewed as an outcome accessed by the ABSENCE OR CESSATION OF VIOLENCE.

Generally, peace guarantees freedom from all manners of turmoil and brigandage which fosters development. Little wonder it is conventionally said that peace is priceless and it’s absence in any strata of society violates moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behavior.

Following all the above, it is deductible to say that central to the concept of peace is FREEDOM, as the former is absolutely incomplete without the latter.

In South Eastern geo-political Zone of Nigeria today, comprising Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra and Enugu States, words are not enough to express current goings on, predicated on the absence of peace, which are orchestrated by very powerful forces ranging from marginalization, agitations by separatist tractions, ineffective and inefficient political leadership culminating in poor infrastructure, kwashiorked healthcare delivery system, almost a collapsed public school system, moribund or unstimulated economic drive, general lack of trust and confidence (or even no confidence at all) in government and the likes.

As blunt and as sad as it is, the South East has diminished into a killing field as non State actors are seemingly in complete charge, dictating and enforcing whatever it wills and the people cow in in horrendous submission.

The South East, from all indices because of the absence of peace, political and quasi political was once considered a hub of all aspects of entrepreneurial inquests but presently in dire need of a rebirth, following security threats, inflation unemployment and the likes, losing according to findings almost 4 trillion naira, since approximately 5 days were lost in a month for example, between October 2020 to April 2022 as a result of enforcement of sit at home days!

How can the South East, Ndi Igbo as notably described, take it’s pride of place when it demoralizes, balkanizes and impoverishes itself still be the hope of the Black Race to the advantage of forces, who sit in comfort and instigate all manners of mayhem in Ala Igbo, holding its people in zombifying derision?

Findings reveal that in the transportation subsector alone, the South East loses between 10-13 billion naira every protest day, while traders suffer same fate, losing between 6-30 billion daily, following lockdowns and protests daily. These figures are not conjured out of fantasy but as real as broad-day light.

In the actual sense, the South East Nigeria can drive West Africa’s economy, following the ingenious and entrepreneurial drive of the people therein.

Peace in South East Project (PISE-P), brainchild of Rt Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, National Assembly Nigeria has hit the ground running as “a comprehensive Five-Year peace-building and development initiative designed to address the complex socio-economic challenges and security issues facing the South East region of Nigeria”.

Rt Hon Benjamin Kalu should be applauded for taking action by adding feet to words and not mere lip servicing, by developing in response to the growing impact of agitations, economic decline and security threats, the said Peace in South East Project, “which seeks to restore peace and stimulate development through a multi-stakeholder mechanism”.

Following findings made studying the objectives of the Project, PISE-P is dedicated to fostering lasting peace, stability and sustainable development in South East Nigeria. Through innovative and inclusive non-kinetic approach, targeted at empowering the dynamic workforce of Ndi Igbo to drive educational excellence, agricultural innovations, thriving commerce and industry, robust development of infrastructure, rich cultural tourism, vibrant sports and entertainment and most importantly, effective governance and leadership.

Rt Hon Benjamin Kalu is massively galvanizing support through rugged like advocacy, seeking support and building bridges in a robustly germane manner to create an environment where every individual’s potential is unleashed, industries flourish with the South East becoming the beacon of prosperity, influencing positive change across Nigeria and beyond.

This initiative must be supported by Ndi Igbo at large because such is beyond politics and must not be sabotaged because the young Benjamin Kalu, against all odds, powers this laudable enterprise. Benjamin Kalu is not dragging ‘leader’ with anyone. Calling for a collaborative action is humility, submitting to divine direction to see to the end of pride and prejudice, to the advantage of Ndi Igbo.

The Centre for Excellence and Performance in Governance, CEPG has opted to be a standard bearer of the project, to ensure its spread across the South East in recognition of the need for a long term stability, shared prosperity and non-kinetic approach.

It must also be reemphasised that Rt Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu has shown readiness, opening new vistas and frontiers towards taking the South East to the centre stage of Nigeria’s collective development.

Finally, those who are bewitched to attack whatsoever Rt Hon Benjamin Kalu does should stay off the PISE-P as even the spirits and ancestors of Ndi Igbo are in tandem with the Project.

May Ala Igbo be healed. We must arise, take the bull by it’s horns, demonstrate both readiness and resilience, refusing to feed our distractions by fertilizing our focus and rebuild. Our sleeves, we must fold, yank off the debris of self destruct, look ourselves in the eye, telling ourselves the truth only us can tell us, shame those who are desperately determined to see us crash, embrace peace and rebuild the land of our birth, the only place we can ever call home. May we not forget that ALA IGBO BU NKE ANYI. Again, “onye kpoo oba ya mkpokoro, agbata obi ewere ya kporo ahihia”. Rt Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu, through this Peace in South East Project is laying the foundation for the much anticipated Igbo rebirth. We will make it work by joining hands in unison. Together, we can.

(c) Henry Onyema Madubuike
Convener,
Centre For Excellence and Performance in Governance CEPG.

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