President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declared that the worst impact of the insurgents, Boko Haram, in Nigeria is already over.
He made the remark during inauguration of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI), chaired by Gen. Thiophilus Danjuma (Rtd.) at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, the successes recorded against Boko Haram were mainly achieved through the patriotic efforts of the Nigeria’s armed forces.
He said: “Fortunately, the worst of the insurgency is behind us. This we owe principally to the valiant efforts of our military whose gallant efforts have significantly degraded the insurgency.
“With these successes, many displaced persons are willing and ready to return home to pick up their lives and move forward.” He said
He pointed out that many of the displaced persons sadly do not have anything to return to.
“They have lost everything to the insurgency. In addition, social and public services are also absent due to the massive destruction of public and private infrastructure.”
According to him, the Government is committed to providing effective coordination and guidance towards addressing the humanitarian crisis, the resettlement and reconstruction of the North East region.
To achieve these, he said that his government established the Presidential committee on the North East Initiative under the Chairmanship of General T.Y.
Danjuma (Rtd), GCON, whom he noted is a man of proven integrity, outstanding patriotism and dedication.
He said: “He will lead this Committee comprising members who have been carefully chosen from a wide spectrum of stakeholders. The Committee will be the apex coordinating body for all interventions in the region including those by the public, private, national and international development partners.
“The Committee is domiciled in the Presidency and is charged with responsibility for developing the strategy and implementation framework for rebuilding the North East region.
“The PCNI would not exist in perpetuity or isolation. Rather, it will exist for a period of 3 years, where after it is envisaged that a long-term regional development framework or entity may be established.”
He said that the PCNI will for now be funded through Federal, State and Local Government appropriation, and funds from the private sector and international development partners.
While expressing great trust and confidence in the General TY Danjuma’s team, he urged them to approach their task with dedication, commitment, accountability and transparency.
He charged the Committee to take a quick look at the conditions of the IDPs and
take urgent remedial measures to alleviate these conditions.
“I also call on all stakeholders to give the PCNI their maximum support to enable it to deliver on its mandate.” He added
He noted that the devastation to human lives and livelihoods by the insurgency in the North East was severe and resulted in more than an estimated 20,000 persons killed, an estimated 2.4 million persons displaced and billions of naira worth of personal and public assets destroyed.
Gen. Danjuma, while thanking the private sector for their support, disclosed that all the N50 billion pledged for the intervention in the North East have not been redeemed.
According to him, only N23 billion have been redeemed as he urged those still owing to pay up stressing that the committee is not ready to embarrass anybody even though it has the names of those that pledged.
He said: “Most of the north east is today in a precarious situation and is in dire need of the humanitarian support, reconstruction and peace building interventions. The resilience shown by the people of the north east gives hope that the task of rebuilding the region is one in which everyone has a role to play, starting from the people, the government and other critical actors, and indeed, the whole nation
“In line with terms of reference of the PCNI, we have developed the Buhari Plan, an implementation framework. The interventions contained in the Buhari plan have been designed for targeted, integrated interventions by the federal and state governments with support from international development partners, local charities, the Nigerian and international business communities as well as other donors.
“This key character of the plan ensures leveraging of all existing capacities and making maximum use of limited resources. Most importantly, implementation, oversight and accountability for this plan will be provided directly from the presidency through the Presidential Committee for the North East Initiative, PCNI.
“We acknowledge the contributions from various sources, particularly during the fund raising for the victims support funds for the north east. However, from this fund raising only half of the pledges that were made have been redeemed. I therefore call on everyone to key into the strategic coordination framework of the PCNI: the Buhari plan and make contributions to its implementation because every key is a stakeholder.
“It is therefore expected that all interventions, especially the federal ministries, departments and agencies, the state government, NGOs, international partners, the private sector and individuals will align their contributions to the aspirations to the aspiration of the Buhari Plan.
“Mr. President, your assessment of the dire situation in the north east justifies your prescription of the remedy in establishing the PCNI. Rebuilding the north east will be resource intensive and cannot be done overnight but it is a task that must be done in the overall interest of our nation.” He added
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal noted that the committee’s inauguration is the first step towards the development of the North- East.