The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on Tuesday tasked non-political and public spirited organizations like Rotary International to focus more on preventing crisis in communities.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo gave the charge when he granted audience to the District 9141 Governor of Rotary International, Mr. Emeke Utebor, and other executives of the body during a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa.

He noted that most conflicts could be nipped in the bud if reputable non governmental organisations (NGOs) complement government’s efforts by adopting what he described as proactive peace advocacy.

Making reference to the current Opu NEMBE crisis, the deputy governor urged Rotary International District 9141 to find out its cause and join other well-meaning organizations to draw national and global attention to the crisis.

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He maintained that if politically neutral bodies raised public concern in what is unfolding in Nembe-Bassambiri and elsewhere in the country, then the right responses could be elicited from the appropriate institutions.

According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the present moment “is the opportune time for Rotary International District 9141 to raise its peace drive and campaign across its catchment area covering Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo and Delta states.”

While commending Rotary International for its remarkable contributions in the health sector, the Deputy Governor, assured District 9141 of government’s continued collaboration with Rotary to maintain the existing peace and foster more development in the state.

His words: “Your peace agenda should be recalibrated higher. I am saying this because sometimes Rotary is more concerned about the humanitarian aspect of what happened. If we do something to stop the carnage it is cheaper because prevention is cheaper than cure.

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” When there are signs of crisis or violence, you have to step in, and not wait until the conflict had arisen.

“No doubt, Rotary International has done a lot in the area of health. But the area of prevention of conflict is what I want Rotary to treat seriously.

“Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Edo are states prone to electoral violence, and I believe it is time Rotary raised its voice in this area. I say this because of the recent developments in our state.

“I believe we should talk. I believe if organizations like yours who are neutral speak, people will listen and pay attention to what you are saying.”

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Earlier in his remarks, the District 9141 Governor, Rotarian Emeke Utebor, implored the State Government to join forces with Rotary to provide more services to the people of Bayelsa.

Rotarian Utebor, who expressed gratitude to Governor Douye Diri for making donations to support the Rotary Foundation projects in the state, pledged to work more closely with government to make the state and the world a better place for all.

Highpoint of the visit was the decoration of Governor Douye Diri with the Create Hope Pin by the wife of the immediate past District Governor, Rotarian Blessing Mightyman Aye-Dikuro.

Bight News

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