Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has said that his administration would do everything possible to ensure that peace returns to the state.
Okowa gave this assurance on Friday at a public lecture/book presentation held in honour of his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro in Warri.
The book with the theme: Governance, Security and Peace Building in Niger Delta, was written by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, Nigeria, South South Zone to mark the 50th birthday of Otuaro.
Okowa said that people must realise that whatsoever damage done to the facilities in the state was destruction done to the people of the state.
“I think there is still a lot to be done in Delta, even when we are enjoying so much peace at the moment.
“People must continue to realise that whatever we do to destroy any of the facilities we have in Delta is actually a destruction done to ourselves,” he said.
Okowa said that governors alone could not build peace, noting that peace building effort had to involve everybody.
“Governors alone cannot build peace, it is a participatory thing; all the people of Delta have to be involved so that the partnership will be strong.
“We have peace building structures, those of us in government must provide that partnership because without that we cannot achieve peace,” he said.
The governor lauded the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, Nigeria, South South Zone for the great work.
He directed that copies of the book be given to the 60 traditional rulers in the state as well as the President-Generals of the communities in Delta.
Okowa thanked God for giving Otuaro the grace to celebrate 50 years and wished him more successful years.
Earlier, Prof. Isaac Albert, the Director, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan in his lecture, stressed the need for Delta to build a consensus.
“There is the need for us to know the kind of Delta we want; if we destroy our state, who will come from other state to build it for us.
“Among the Niger Delta governors, there is also the need to build a consensus to tackle the main problems in the region,” he said.
The 383 page book was reviewed by Prof. Chris Ogbogbo, the President, Historical Society of Nigeria, University of Ibadan.
In his remark, Utuaro thanked God and the organisers for the honor accorded him.
“I thank God for the gift of life and mercy; I am overwhelmed and glad to see this great day; being 50 is heartwarming and exciting,” he said.
In attendance were the, immediate past governor of Delta, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta lawmakers at both the state and national assemblies, government functionaries, traditional rulers among others.