Governor Wike said, the Government of Rivers State would continue to encourage and support peace building efforts by community leaders as government alone cannot carryout the functions of peace building.
While expressing concern on the absence of major political players during the last election in the Akuku Toru Peace and Security Conference/Reconciliation in Abonnima on Saturday, he said, the discussion of peace and security cannot be complete without the involvement of all in Akuku Toru LGA.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, added, “during the last elections, Akuku Toru alone had up to 10 Governorship aspirants whom I expected to see here with their supporters contributing to the issue of peace, security and development of the LGA.
"All persons, politicians, men, women, youths, boys and girls should be part of the peace building process in this community", he said.
He further wondered that the Army which played vital role and increased the tension and crisis in the LGA during the last election was not also represented.
“If we must x-ray what went wrong in the last election, any discourse that does not highlight the role of the military is cowardly as we must face reality to make progress, “ he added.
He stressed that, the conference was a good effort to see youths shun cultism, political/election violence, use of illicit drugs, thuggery/rape should as well be extended to the Army that caused mayhem in the community.
He urged the conference convener and Amayanabo of Abonnime, His Majesty Barr. Disrael Bob-Manuel to ensure the involvement of other kings in the LGA to put all hands on deck in establishment of the peace and those who refuse to foster peace face the consequences.
Earlier presenting a Keynote paper titled, Strategic Response to Sustainable Peace and Security in Akuku Toru LGA, Pastor Christopher Briggs spotted the immediate causes of violence and criminality in Akuku Toru and presented recommendations to sustainable peace.
The Chief Superintendents of Police in Akuku Toru, Uzota Chidi advised youths and political leaders to be law abiding and peace loving. Maintaining that even when only few people cause crisis, all members of a community will suffer the consequences of crisis.
The Amayanabo of Abonnima, His Majesty, Barr. Disrael Bob Manuel said the peace and security conference was called up to mend the community which was divided along political and chieftaincy tussle lines.
The summit ended on Sunday with a thanksgiving service.