Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has flagged off the campaign on #PeaceBackNigeria, an initiative of the International Association of World Peace Advocates.
The governor did at the weekend when members of the initiative paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Owerri.
Governor Uzodimma told the group that peace in Nigeria has now become inevitable going by the recent experience where the #EndSARS protest organized by Nigerian youths against alleged police brutality turned out to be a source of worry to well-meaning citizens of the country following the hijack of the peaceful protest by criminal elements in the society.
The governor regretted that today the country is bleeding from the looting and destruction of public and private property by criminal elements who hid under the well intentioned peaceful youth #EndSARS protest to afflict the country.
Governor Uzodimma said a time like this when many Nigerians feel hurt, an initiative like the #PeaceBackNIgeria has become inevitable.
“I will join you to take this campaign beyond here. We are definitely with you in your campaign,” the governor assured the group, reminding them again and again that “only a peaceful Nigeria will guarantee justice, equity and fairness, and ultimately, development.”
Earlier, Group Leader of the #PeaceBackNigeria Campaign, Ambassador Emmanuel Nkweke thanked the governor for accepting to be the face of the campaign.
Nkweke in his speech recalled that Governor Uzodimma was recently chosen as the 2020 SDG Most Friendly Governor in Nigeria, not for fun, but for the rare qualities he has demonstrated in leadership devoid of tribal sentiment, religion, race, sex and class.
“Your Excellency, we are determined to ensuring that peace is back to Nigeria which forms the hash tag #PeaceBackNigeria. We have implicit and explicit confidence to begin this peace campaign with you here in Imo State Government House and let it be on record that as the #EndSARS brutality that started in the month of October 2020, is witnessing today 30th October 2020, a peace campaign for the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria,” Nkweke said.
He thanked the governor for being youth friendly and for his quick intervention in approving the sum of N2billion for youth empowerment in Imo State with the intention of spending a total of N6 billion to train 500,000 Imo youths over a period of three years.
Nkweke said the #PeaceBackNigeria campaign will partner with the international organizations, development partners and foreign embassies to host peace workshops in Nigeria. “We will not keep a blind eye over the request of the #EndSARS peace protesters but we will ensure that government keeps to their promises by putting in place measures that will track government engagement with the Nigeria youth.”
The #PeaceBackNigeria organisers said their campaign will focus on five point agenda which include: that all governors must inculcate in their programmes town hall meetings, lawmakers across the three tiers of government must compulsorily utilize their constituency funds for the projects they are meant for and be ready to render account of their stewardship to the people, and that the government must show good faith in the funding of the police.
Others include: that the federal and state government should initiate sections for a better engagement of the youths instead of leaving their matter in the hands of Ministry of youth and development alone, and that the legislative arm of the country should compulsorily make laws on job creation for every Nigerian youth, including creating a data base of the unemployed and unemployable youths in the country.
The event was well attended by key government officials including the Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku.
The Imo State Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Marcelinus Nlemigbo also attended.