Advocacy group unveils PISE-P, seeks peaceful, new developmental initiative, drive in Southeast 

A new dynamic and development-driven non-partisan, political group known as Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) has been birthed.

Addressing the media during a virtual conference, top officials of the group revealed that its mandate revolves around resounding mission to restore the South East’s rightful place in the national political space and usher in the era of democracy dividends.

Project Coordinator of PISE-P, Mr. Ogbonna Ukuku, while fielding questions from media professionals said the idea was conceptualised to use mainly non-kinetic means to advocate for peace and meaningful development which have eluded the region in recent times.

He said, “PISE-P has devised a non-kinetic approach built on the Seven Pillars for Sustainable Development, gearing to accomplish its vision within the next five years.

“The key to our success lies in our commitment to our objectives. These objectives encompass a range of transformative actions, such as reorienting citizens towards national unity, identifying the root causes of conflicts, and developing effective strategies for their management.

“Moreover, PISE-P aims to carry out impactful programs and initiatives to foster national peace and harmony while positively impacting constituencies with the dividends of democracy. Additionally, the organisation seeks to empower and nurture the youth as the future leaders of tomorrow through strategic programs that are politically, economically, and socially engaging.”

He said the overarching goal of PISE-P is to promote peace, stability, and sustainable development in the South Eastern region of Nigeria. 

“Leveraging on the seven crucial pillars of education, agriculture, commerce and industry, infrastructural development, culture and tourism, sports and entertainment, as well as governance and leadership, the organisation aims to drive progress and create resilient communities that facilitate social cohesion,” he said.

Also speaking, PISE-P Director of Programmes, Hon. Karu Simon, highlighted the organisation’s plans for education, adding, “These include establishing and renovating schools in conflict-affected areas, enhancing teacher training, providing teaching materials, and establishing scholarship programs for vulnerable and disadvantaged students.”

Hon. Simon also spoke on the organisation’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and vocational training for young people through the pillar of commerce and industry.

He said, “PISE-P plans to establish business incubation centers, provide access to start-up capital, strengthen market linkages, support value chain development, encourage the establishment of cooperatives and business associations, and facilitate trade and investment fairs to drive economic growth and job creation.”

On her part, the Director Media PISE-P, Chief (Mrs) Mary Ikoku, acknowledged the dedicated individuals involved in the formation of PISE-P, while commending the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu for his crucial role in pacifying various interests to come together and forge a common front.

She said, “The coming together of this group of passionate individuals showcases a genuine interest in revitalising the social, political, and economic growth of our region. I must particularly commend the Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, for his overwhelming support and the pivotal role he plays in the organisation.”

Ikoku emphasised that the task of rebuilding the Southeast lies not only with political, religious, and traditional leaders but with every individual. 

She then called on all stakeholders to join hands in repositioning the region for progress and development.

“With PISE-P at the helm, the South East can look forward to an era of inclusive political representation, driven by sustainable development and a united vision for the future,” she added.

One of the speakers during the media unveiling, Sam Hart, said the essence of PISE-P is to guide the people, and “we need help, we need hope and the need for the people to own it for it to be sustainable”.

“PISE-P was launched after a report of the SBM Intelligence, which said the region loses up to N13 billion a day whenever people stage a protest in the region. The South East region of Nigeria is known as a hub for entrepreneurial activities, as the majority of the people are into various forms of nano, micro, small, medium, and large-scale businesses.

“A recent study by SBM Intelligence for DevEast Foundation Ltd./Gte, a not-for-profit policy and business advocacy organization, estimates that in the transportation sector, the South East loses about N10 billion – N13 billion every protest day, and traders also lose between N5.4 billion- N31 billion daily.

“The South East region, once considered a hub for entrepreneurial activities, is grappling with a myriad of socio-economic issues, including rising unemployment, inflation, and security threats.

“The impact of separatist agitations has led to economic downturns, hindering the region’s potential for growth. PISE-P recognizes the urgent need to address these challenges, restore peace, and unlock the untapped potential within the region,” he said.

He also assured that the group will soon embark on advocacy visits and campaigns geared towards rallying stakeholders including the traditional rulers, president of town unions, teaming youth and women as well as political leaders in various states and local government areas of the region.

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