HomeNewsPISE-P: A New Era of Peace and Prosperity in Nigeria's South East

PISE-P: A New Era of Peace and Prosperity in Nigeria’s South East

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In a historic convergence that marked a turning point in Nigeria’s post-civil war era, leaders and influential figures from various regions united in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State to declare peace in Igboland. This groundbreaking event, part of the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), took place on December 29, 2023, symbolizing a significant stride towards harmony in a region long affected by unrest and economic challenges.

The gathering in Bende was not just a mere assembly; it was a powerful testament to the collective desire for peace across Nigeria. The South East, known for its vibrant culture and economic potential, had experienced a troubling phase characterized by fear, violence, and economic stagnation. The weekly sit-at-home orders, initially a form of protest against the incarceration of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had inadvertently led to substantial economic losses. Moreover, the heavy military presence across the region, while aimed at maintaining order, contributed to an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty.

The unveiling of PISE-P, spearheaded by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, marks a pivotal moment in the region’s history. This initiative, a well-structured five-year peace deal, emphasizes non-kinetic methods to foster lasting peace, stability, and sustainable development in the South East. PISE-P is designed to tackle the region’s complex socio-economic and security challenges, offering a multi-faceted approach to restoring peace and stimulating growth.

Central to PISE-P are eight pillars: Education, Agriculture, Commerce/Industry, Infrastructural Development, Culture and Tourism, Sports/Entertainment, Governance/Leadership, and Reconciliation/Rehabilitation/Reintegration. These pillars are crucial in addressing the underlying issues that have hindered the region’s progress and in paving the way for a prosperous future.

The launch of PISE-P was a resounding success, drawing a diverse, apolitical, and cross-cultural attendance. Dignitaries included President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, Senate President Senator Godswill Akpabio, represented by his deputy Senator Jubrin Barau, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Tajideen Abbas, Ph.D. Governors from the five eastern states, traditional rulers from both the South and North, and prominent Igbo businessmen and philanthropists were in attendance, signifying a united front for the cause of peace.

The event’s impact resonated beyond Bende, echoing through towns and villages across the South East and the entire nation, emphasizing the importance of unity, love, and collective progress. The speeches delivered by various leaders, including Vice President Shettima and Governor Uzodinma, were filled with hope and commitment to supporting this peace initiative.

The declaration of peace, moderated by the Abia State Governor, was a momentous occasion, symbolizing the collective resolve of the people of the South East to embrace peace as a driver of economic growth and societal well-being. It proclaimed peace as the region’s new ethos, a catalyst for unlocking its potential and restoring its former glory.

PISE-P represents more than just a peace agreement; it’s a new beginning for the South East, an opportunity to reignite its economic engines, harness its cultural richness, and rebuild its educational and infrastructural landscape. It’s a call for the people of the South East to rekindle their entrepreneurial spirit, innovate, and contribute significantly to Nigeria’s development.

This initiative’s success hinges on the active participation and collaboration of all stakeholders, from the grassroots to the highest echelons of government. It requires a collective commitment to the principles of reconciliation, rehabilitation, and reintegration, and a shared vision for a prosperous and peaceful South East.

As the South East turns a new leaf, the echoes of the Bende Peace Declaration will reverberate across the region and the nation, heralding a new era of peace, progress, and prosperity. The onus is now on the people of the South East and Nigeria at large to nurture this newfound peace and work together towards a future that is inclusive, progressive, and reflective of the rich cultural heritage and potential of the region.

In conclusion, the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) stands as a beacon of hope, not just for the South East, but for Nigeria as a whole. It exemplifies the power of unity, dialogue, and collaborative efforts in overcoming challenges and building a more peaceful and prosperous society. As PISE-P unfolds, it will undoubtedly serve as a model for conflict resolution and peace-building in other regions, solidifying its place in history as a significant milestone in Nigeria’s journey towards national cohesion and development.

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