The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari has commended the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, for its peace building initiatives in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Dr. Abari gave the commendation in Abuja when he played host to a team of CEPEJ officials, led by the National Coordinator, Comrade Mulade Sheriff who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
The NOA Director General said CEPEJ activities were not new to the Agency, especially its peace building efforts across the nation. He however expressed the Agency’s concern about the challenges of cattle rustling and armed banditry, the incidences of which he said had reduced though there were still flash points.
While stressing the need to de-radicalize and reintegrate insurgents into the larger society, Dr. Abari promised that the NOA would deepen its partnership with organisations such as CEPEJ to reach out to Nigerians in the following areas: Advocacy, sensitization and capacity building; Environmental sustainability and Protection of human rights and promotion of good governance.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Mulade Sheriff thanked the Director General and his Directors for hosting the NGO in spite of their tight schedules. He said the purpose of the visit was to cement the NGO’s relationship with the Agency and identify areas of partnership ahead of 2020, as well as strengthen bonds particularly in areas of peace building and good governance.
A presentation on CEPEJ’s activities was done by CEPEJ’s Programmes Manager, Abuja Office, Mrs Nafisat Amadu Abdulmalik who highlighted possible areas of engagement.
She identified some key components of CEPEJ’’s programmes such as peace building, capacity building and other empowerment programmes, peace and unity quiz and essay competitions, the nonviolence philosophy, educational approach, advocacy for environmental sustainability, peace and unity football tournament, also known as Comrade Sheriff Mulade Peace and Unity Football Cup which is building bonds between Ijaw and Itsekiri in Delta State.
This he said had yielded positive outcomes as community leaders, women and youths of the two ethnic groups could come together in the spirit of sportsmanship.
The CEPEJ team then requested NOA to allow the NGO leverage on the experience and expertise of the Agency, as partners in a project being proposed to the Federal Ministry of Interior towards addressing drug abuse in correctional centres and schools through good governance and security education, considering the rising spate of kidnapping in Nigeria’s educational institutions.
Dr. Garba Abari expressly accepted the request and approved collaboration between the NOA and CEPEJ.