By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
The Catholic Bishop of Owerri, His Grace Anthony J. V Obinna has identified hunger, underdevelopment and misuse of the country’s resources as major factors encouraging militancy in the oil rich communities of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
He lamented yesterday in Owerri, when a group called Partners For Peace, P4P, in the Niger Delta visited him in his office.
According to the Bishop, “the stage of democracy in Nigeria is leaking. Something has to be done to salvage the situation of hunger in the country which equally can lead to so many of the things we are seeing now. Before now, I can travel round the country at anytime I want, but now the situation is so terrible that to travel from Port Harcourt to Owerri at night is a terrible thing to do.”
The Bishop who assured the Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta of his support towards working out a lasting peace in the area also condemned the level of politicization of the issues.
He, however, called on the stakeholders within the oil communities to see reasons why there should be peace as such would provide the speedy process of development.
Earlier in his speech, the leader of the delegation who is the Imo State Chairman of Conflict Prevention Committee of the Partners For Peace in the Niger Delta, said, “we have come to let you know that, P4P, has started the peace process in the Awarra Court Area of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State. Why we are here, is to let you know the extent we have gone and also to plead that you assist us in this process. We know that in your own way you have done so much and we have come to teem up with you in order to achieve a lasting solution.”
The group also pleaded with the Bishop to reach out to authorities concerned for them to withdraw the military that was weekend deployed to the area.
They added that such a step would disrupt the peace process.
He said: “We hear that the people living in Ochii and Awarra communities have vacated from their homes for fear of intimidation.”