Democracy, Development Can’t Thrive Without Peace – Deputy Speaker, Kalu



The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has said that there can be no development or thriving democracy without peace, stressing that both are complementary to each other.

Kalu stated this in Abuja while playing host to a delegation from the German Initiative for Knowledge Transfer led by its country director, Hon. Obinna Ichita on a courtesy call in his office at the National Assembly.

He explained that one of the challenges facing the country is insecurity, pointing out that the nation can only thrive in investments, development, and democracy in an atmosphere of peace.

According to him, without peace, every effort to make an impact, whether in politics, or economics, will not work.

Kalu noted that this led him to initiate the Peace in the South East Project, PISE-P, a non-Kinetic approach towards achieving peace in the South East, and make better the region that passed through civil war.

Kalu sought collaboration with the German agency to build rehabilitation centres and digital skills acquisition for the youths from the region.

He informed his guests that PISE-P, which was unveiled on December 29, 2023, in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, has eight cardinal pillars of Education; Agriculture; Commerce/Industry; Infrastructural Development; Culture and Tourism; Sports/Entertainment; Governance/Leadership and Reconciliation/Rehabilitation/Reintegration to tackle the challenges.

He noted that PISEP is not just a partnership but also a commitment to shared responsibility, mutual growth, and sustained peace leveraging the power of ICT to advance common goals and shared aspirations, to create a world that is not only digitally connected but also digitally secure and digitally inclusive.

Kalu said “It is my profound pleasure to welcome you all today, especially our distinguished guests from Germany, as collaborators striving towards a unified goal – the advancement of knowledge, fostering peace, and strengthening ties through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In today’s digital age, ICT has become the lifeblood that sustains our interconnected world. It is a catalyst for economic growth, a facilitator for social integration, and a tool for creating an equitable society.

“We need to cultivate a spirit of cooperation, shared responsibility, and mutual understanding – values that are well embodied in our call for collaboration for the Peace in the Southeast Project (PISEP). I call upon you all to join us in this endeavour. Let us foster an environment where ICT is not just a tool, but a beacon of hope for a brighter, safer, and more peaceful world. Let us use ICT as a means to bridge gaps, heal divisions, and promote understanding. And let us commit to a future where cybersecurity is not just about defending our systems, but about safeguarding our shared values, our common goals, and our collective future.

“We are looking for partners that will help us. We are coming up with grants that will take them into training and help them start businesses. So we are looking for partners that can work. To build all these skills, rehabilitation centres where we can train people. So both government participation, Non-governmental agencies, and development partners we are looking for such collaboration and partnership.”

Earlier, the agency’s country director, Hon. Obinna Ichita congratulated the Deputy Speaker on his peace project, saying that his efforts towards achieving peace in the region and, the nation as a whole for the development of the country is commendable.

He informed the Deputy Speaker that they visited to brief him about the way the organization can partner with the Peace in Southeast initiative.

Ichita noted the role that knowledge plays in fostering peace and cordial relationships, adding that the areas they can offer bespoke knowledge are information, communication technology and IT security.