By Bukoka Olamona
All hands must be on deck to tackle the hydra-headed security challenges affecting the Niger Delta region of the country.
Stakeholders in the security sector declared this at the Niger Delta regional peace building strategy town hall meeting held in Akure.
The stakeholders include: Civil societies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, trade unions, youth leaders among others.
Senior Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Security Matters, Mr Jimoh Dojumo emphasized the need for residents to be security conscious and not leave it in the hands of government, as government alone cannot do it.
He said everybody is a stakeholder, hence the need for collaboration between those in uniforms and civilians.
He noted that intelligence build up and cultivation is more powerful than going out to shoot guns.
In his welcome address, the Coordinator of PIND, Chief Lawal Africas said the peace building programme was aimed at bringing lasting peace to the region through creating sustainable peace partnership, encouraging collaboration and synergy among stakeholders and strengthening indigenous structures for peace.
Africas who said Niger Delta is a beautiful place with 40 ethnic groups, speaks more than 100 languages and dialects, posited that historical tensions and proliferation of armed groups contributed to the changing conflicts and security dynamics in the region.
He said if these conflicts are not addressed appropriately, they could continue and escalate into violence that could derail peace in a state and the region.
Also speaking, the State Director of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mrs Layo Adefolalu enumerated some of the challenges facing the region to include: deprivation, political differences, poverty, degradation, high level of employment, lack of infrastructural amenities, and lack of quality education.
On his part, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ), Leke Adegbite said activities of the media can improve and can also jeopardise the security of any state.
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