Diri, Ndiomu, others bag Niger Delta Peace Awards

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri


Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri and Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), retired Major.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu, on Sunday in Yenagoa received the Niger Delta Peace Award.

Others recipients included Dr Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and King Ateke Tom, the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom in Rivers.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Mr Abraham Ingobere, Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, received the Peace Advocate Award along with ex-agitators’ leader, Ebikabowei Victor-Ben (Boyloaf).

Others in that category included Chief Bibopere Ajube, Pastor Wilson Reuben, Felix Bony Ayah, Africanus Ukparasia and Kingsley Kuku, former Coordinator of PAP.

NAN reports that the awards were given to them by the organisers of the Niger Delta Peace Day (NDPD), in partnership with the Congress of Niger Delta Ex-agitators.

The organisers said the awards were in recognition of their efforts and contributions to ending militancy in the Niger Delta and sustaining the existing peace in the region.

The NDPD was institutionalised in 2009.

Its promoter, Seleipre Tonbie, in a brief remark said that in spite of the challenges, he had continued to keep the memories of that day alive by organising many events, including the Miss Peace Beauty Pageant, to mark it.

He explained that in the 2024 Miss Peace Beauty Pageant, Nengi Ockiya from Nembe Local Government Area, a student of History and International Relations at the Federal University Otuoke, was crowned the winner.

Tonbie explained that in the 2024 NDPD, which was held in Yenagoa and organised to correspond with the second term inauguration of Gov. Diri, his group decided to honour peace agents in the region.

He said that persons selected for the awards were individuals who made sacrifices to facilitate the amnesty programme that ended the era of violent crisis in the region.

He explained that others who got the award, though did not play a direct role to usher in the amnesty programme, used their various positions to promote and sustain peace in the region.

Tonbie added: “This is just the first batch of the award; others will be identified and honoured in our next programme.

“We intend to institutionalise this award as a yearly event to keep recognising those whose actions, utterances, body languages and activities within each year have helped to sustain the existing peace in the Niger Delta.”

He further explained that to be given the yearly award, each awardee must have contributed to peace in the region.

He added that the contribution must be through programmes, projects and policies deliberately designed to empower the youths, discourage violent behaviours and develop communities in the region while promoting education.

Tonbie, who congratulated the 2024 awardees, said the gesture would immortalise their contributions to the peace in the Niger Delta and urged them to keep doing more to sustain it.

He called on corporate organisations operating in the region and other individuals to partner with the promoters of the award to encourage peace in the region.

“Before the amnesty programme, we saw how lack of peace negatively affected businesses and development in the region.

“Peace remains the only ingredient for healthy business environment. We urge all corporate organisations to partner with us to encourage peace in the region,” he said.(NAN)


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