A high powered team of the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, an NGO, on Thursday September 24th 2020 visited the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Women, Children Affairs, Empowerment and Social Development, Mrs Faith Opuene to seek collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government towards training over 20,000 Women and Youths on Agripreneurship and general business ventures.
The Commissioner who commended CEPEJ for the initiative said the visit was very timely as the State Govt was already planning to empower women and youths in that state economically in order to reduce the high rate of poverty among them so that they could compete favourably with other tribes doing business in the Bayelsa State, and expressed joy that this was embedded in CEPEJ's proposal.
Mrs. Opuene assured CEPEJ that Bayelsa State Government was ready to collaborate with the NGO on its women and youths empowerment programmes, and said CEPEJ would be invited for further engagement to strategize on how to implement the contents of the proposal.
The National Coordinator and CEO/Chairman of CEPEJ, Comrade (Chief) Sheriff Mulade thanked the Commissioner for the reception and the opportunity for CEPEJ to collaborate with Bayelsa State Government. Chief Mulade Sheriff who is the Ibe-Sorimowei of Ancient Gbaramatu Kingdom, said CEPEJ conceived the idea of empowering Bayelsa women and youths since 2015 when the NGO organized an international peace and security conference in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital.
The CEPEJ Boss told the Commissioner that the NGO is a well recognized organization in Nigeria and abroad, especially in Africa, dedicated to peace advocacy and training on conflict management, economic empowerment for women, youths and community leaders. He gave the assurance that CEPEJ was fully prepared to partner with Bayelsa State Govt in training the indigenous women and youths of the State towards making them economically self reliant.
For his part, the Chairman CEPEJ's Board of Trustees, Dr. (Chief) Godwin Orhadahwe told the Commissioner that CEPEJ has a formidable team of Trustees as well as an Elders Council made up of first class Kings, academics, legislators and other professionals who brainstorm daily to assist the NGO achieve its Pan African vision, beginning with Nigeria.
Dr. Orhadahwe noted that CEPEJ carries out its advocacy functions using lectures, seminars, workshops and annual conferences as strategies. He disclosed that the NGO publishes an annual academic Journal containing well researched papers on various aspects of peace and development, as well as a periodic Newsletter showcasing the activities of CEPEJ. He said CEPEJ also provides humanitarian services to assist the indigent people in the society so as to give them a sense of belonging.
Earlier, the CEPEJ's Head of Communications cum Programmes Manager on Environment, Mr. Tonfawei Daniel, presented an overview of the CEPEJ's women and youths empowerment programme for Bayelsa State, and highlighted its benefits to the people of the State.
Highlights of the visit were the presentation of the empowerment and entrepreneurship proposal, and CEPEJ's Newsletter to the Commissioner, as well as a group photograph of the CEPEJ team and officials of the Ministry.