Bayelsa state based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), under the guise of FACE initiative in conjunction with a Dutch based international organisation, Cord Aid, has trained over 100 community leaders on non- violent and conflict management to build their capacities for the protection of their natural endowments and strategies for rancour free 2019 general elections.
The one day sensitisation workshop held at the Martho Crystal Hotel, in Yenagoa, brought to the fore the role of community leaders such as CDC, women groups, youths as well as chiefs of various communities on their roles during and after conflict.
Topical issues on the concept of conflict, violence, conflict handling styles, principles of non-violence, strategies for developing a non- violence campaign and the role of leaders in non- violent conflicts in the Niger Delta communities were extensively discussed.
The Executive Director of FACE Initiative, Mr Inatimi Odio, while speaking with newsmen during the workshop noted that the program was organized to equip participants with hand on skills to effectively carryout their roles as leaders and promote non- violence in their areas to foster peace and unity in the Niger Delta region.
Odio is of the opinion that when community leaders are effective and equipped, they can mobilize themselves and achieve their community goals without using violence.
Dr. Tari Dadiowei, a peace and conflict resolution expert and senior lecturer in the Niger Delta University, Ammasoma, who presented a paper on “Non-violence and conflict management”
observed that the for the Region to attract meaningful development community leaders should utilize all available transitional conflict resolution mechanism before resorting to arrest, counter arrest and escalated judicial processes.
Participants who expressed happiness for the workshop tasked other stakeholders in the region especially youths to embrace peace and shun the war approach, according to them for the past years the war approach used is yet to bring positive results hence the need to rethink and re-strategize using the non-violence approach.