Projects in Nigeria
In 2016, a group of local peacebuilders in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, became officially registered as an NGO, granting it institutional status and governmental recognition. This group, known as COPEDI (Community Peace & Development Initiative), had emerged following a violent and tense situation in which four undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt were killed by a vigilante group, leading to fears of retaliation and ongoing violence between university students and the communities in which they were living. In a meeting convened by the PPP in collaboration with a Nigerian NGO, Health Matters Incorporated, 25 local citizens got together to discuss these tensions and develop solutions to keep the situation from devolving into violence. This group went on to form COPEDI, which continues to engage with representatives of the host community, students and others who are affected by the conflict to work collectively to improve relations and promote peace.
Disputes between neighbors over land ownership are always problematic. When such disputes fester for 12 years in a primarily agrarian community, they may have disastrous implications for the communities involved, even threatening to result in physical violence. This was the case in Nigeria’s Delta State. In 2013 tensions over land boundaries were running high between the Obi Ogadi in Asaba and the Ogboli in Ibusa when the PPP learned of the situation. The two communities came together in a critical meeting convened by the PPP along with a Nigerian NGO, Health Matters Inc., in what would be their first interaction in 12 years. Out of this meeting emerged the Obi Ogadi and Ogboli Peace Committee (OOPC). This peace committee has been instrumental in setting up a blueprint to resolve this dispute amicably. Their blueprint includes plans not only within the communities to stress the importance of peaceful resolution to this dispute, but also advocacy efforts with the boundary and adjustment commission, security agencies and the media. The PPP supports the efforts of the local peace committee to resolve this dispute peacefully.