Asaba — With a solemn charge to put on their thinking caps in order to steer his administration on the path of good governance, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday inaugurated the state Advisory and Peace-Building Council in Asaba, under the chairmanship of former Information Minister, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire.
Foremost among the terms of reference of the Council is to "support the government regularly with expert advice and services real time," Okowa observed, stressing that their role is invaluable to the state government.
The main responsibilities of the council included the power to study the general socioeconomic and political situation in the state and advise the government appropriately, including offering counsel that would engender a harmonious relationship among the three arms of government-Executive, Legislature and Judiciary-in the state.
According to Okowa, "this objective shall also be adopted with regards to the local government councils as it will also render advice on issues which can strengthen the harmonious relationships between the federal government and states.
"It will also study the causes of conflicts among various communities in the state and advise on measures to effectively mitigate them, and further advise on appropriate peace-building mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of various peace programmes of the government."
"The council is also expected to deliberate and advise on any matter referred to it by the government and bring up new initiatives for the administration's sustained efforts at maintaining the peaceful co-existence of our people, including residents in the state.
"The state government is at all times seeking ways to strengthen the base for the peace and unity of the different ethnic nationalities, in addition to inter and intra-community relations in the state. This is because no meaningful development can take place in the absence of peace.
"By the special grace of God, in the last four years, we have had a largely peaceful state. That is one major reason we were able to achieve the much we did."
Credit for the achievements of government's policies and programmes would also be shared by the Advisory and Peace Building Council, the governor added.
While congratulating the 42-member Council, Okowa urged the members to always work for harmonious and peaceful co-existence in every part of the state as a precursor to growth and development.
He charged the citizens to continue to cooperate and partner his administration to ensure sustainable development in every part of the state, adding that the government would continue to tap from the wealth of experience of elders.
To work with the council's Chairman, Prof Oyovbaire, are former state Deputy Governors, Chief Benjamin Elue and Prof. Amos Utuama. Other members are Prince Sam Obi, Chief Chris Agbobu, Chief Broderick Bozimo, Brig-Gen. B. Demeyeibo (rtd), Chief Mike Adiotomre and Chief Ignatius Agidi.
Others are Chief Patrick Egone, Mr. John Nwagimeje, Senator Stella Omu, Chief Paul Enebeli, Senator Patrick Osakwe, Dr. (Mrs.) Felicia Nwaeze, Prof. E.C. Nwanze, Dr. Pius Sinebe, Chief Joseph Ejigba, Chief Eddie Sorhue, Chief Esther Uduehi and Chief E.O. Oborfukoro among others.
Responding on behalf of the members, Oyovbaire thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them, saying: "We know that you listen and that you are focused. We will work with you and do our best to make our state better, because you are a peace builder."