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Thursday 29 October 2015

Buhari Says N233 Billion Is Needed To Rehabilitate North-East

Despite the fact that the war against the Boko Haram insurgents is far from being over, the presidency on Tuesday met with 19 international  organisations and agencies preparatory to holding a national conference on the North-east in December.

The Chairman, Victim Support Fund (VSF), General Theophilous Danjuma (rtd.), gave the hint in Abuja at a pre-conference meeting with development partners where he said the conference scheduled for December, would adopt a plan to be used by stakeholders in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the northeast.

He noted that the meeting was also aimed at sensitising the international development partners both in the forthcoming conference and in the development plan.

According to him, “The Presidential Committee on North-east Initiative (PCNI)  is  working  with  all  the  presidential  initiatives  to  convene  a  conference  aimed  at  developing  a  comprehensive,  integrated,  and  concerted  plan  for  the  development,  reconstruction  of  the  North-east  region,  the  resettlement  and  rehabilitation  of  the  victims  of  terrorism.

“The  plan  will  help  us  to  optimise  resource  utilisation,  enhance  monitoring  and  accountability  for  impact  for  sustainable  development.   The  conference  is  scheduled  for  December  7,  2015,  in  Abuja  and  will  be  headlined  by    President    Muhammadu  Buhari.”

President Buhari recently set up the PCNI with the aim of coordinating and harmonising all initiatives for delivering humanitarian development agenda in the North-east.

The committee would also coordinate the activities of VSF, Presidential Initiative on North-east (PINE), and Safe  School Initiative (SSI) among others.

Meanwhile, the federal government has said N233 billion is needed for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the North-east which has been under the scourge of the Boko Haram insurgency.

This declaration came on the heels of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration that many of the Boko Haram insurgents are victims of evil manipulation and that the nation is left with the task of correcting their misconception and world view.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the North-east humanitarian multi-stakeholders engagement with the theme: ‘Coordination, Communication and Cooperation in Humanitarian Response’ yesterday in Maiduguri, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on North-east Interventions (PCNI) said N233 billion is needed both in the short and long run for the post insurgency reconstruction and rehabilitation of the communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

The chairman of PCNI, Danjuma, who was represented by a member of the committee, Mohammed Danjuma, said the carnage in the North-east by the Boko Haram terrorists requires proper coordination, cooperation and communication to alleviate the sufferings of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the reconstruction of destroyed communities.

He said the federal government and other stakeholders are seriously determined to manage the humanitarian crisis in the region and very soon the IDPs will return to their communities after the reconstruction of their destroyed communities.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who declared the two-day workshop open, said: “This region has suffered tremendously in the past six years. The destruction of infrastructure,  farmlands, businesses, and trades. The destruction of schools and the loss of school years.

“Rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitation will cost money and time. But neither money nor time can fix the trauma of loss of family, relations and friends. The shame of the raped, the scars and fears of parents of the abducted, the bewilderment that comes with loss of homes, possessions and livelihoods, the hundreds of thousands of orphaned children.”

Osinbajo said: “The tasks before us are many and profound, to fix brick and mortar and to mend hearts and minds damaged by senseless murderous violence. But we are called not just to mend the hearts and minds of the victims  but also of their traducers, and killers.

“The young men and women who have been brainwashed to kill, maim and destroy in the warped belief that by so doing they please God. They are also victims. Indeed These perpetrators are themselves victims, trapped in the vortex of evil manipulation, compelled to dehumanise themselves as they shed the blood of the innocent.

”It is our duty to deconstruct the narrative that causes men to kill children on their beds at a boarding school at night even as we degrade the military capacity of the terrorist insurgents. The tasks are indeed many and profound.”

The Vice President added that: “But while there is still so much to do, much has been done already. The many civil society groups, funding partners, regional and international partners, have given of their time, resources and even lives is some cases, deserve to be commended. But for you, first responders we would have been far worse off than we are today.”

He explained that: “One of the goals of this initiative is to strengthen the capacities of existing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), especially in this region, and to aid the development of others where noticeable and important gaps exist.  There is no question about the fact that if we are to succeed, we must invest in the CSO community.”
  He said: “The CSO community is the heart and conscience of underserved people and communities.  You have shown uncommon compassion  and offered a voice to the most vulnerable, especially when others were nowhere to be found.  You have supported governments at all levels, in this region in particular, when things were very tough.  As we deal with what Is evidently the greatest human challenge in Nigeria ‘s recent history, we will need you to be even stronger. This challenge will require dedication, innovation and creativity especially from the NGO and CSO community.”

Osinbajo explained that: “We are in Maiduguri to show humanity and give milk of human kindliness to our brothers and sisters whom for six years have been ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency by killing, maiming and abduction of innocent people.”

Also speaking, the United Nations (UN) country representative, Ratti Ndlovu said Nigeria has the capacity to restore the shattered lives of the IDPs and reconstruct their destroyed communities, so that they go back and continue with their normal lives.

She said as managers of humanitarian crisis they will continue to partners with the Federal Government, state government and other development partners to restore quality live to the IDPs and reconstruct their destroyed communities, adding that the forum afford them the opportunity to have platform to discuss what is achievable through communication, coordination and cooperation.


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