By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Federal Government will ensure that permanent peace and stability returned to the troubled Northeast, and charged the armed forces to make clinical finishing of the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.
The president gave the challenge at the inauguration of the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (NHCC) in State House, Abuja, on Thursday.
According to the president, the rehabilitation of devastated communities is set to begin in earnest.
“As a result of the mindless actions of the terrorists, many of our compatriots have been killed, maimed or displaced from their communities.
”This necessitated the efforts of this administration to develop immediate interventions and measures to alleviate the sufferings of those affected, and to ensure their proper resettlement,” he said.
Buhari noted that the need to harmonise all humanitarian activities in the region for greater effectiveness informed the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development last year (2019).
The ministry has the mandate to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of National and International humanitarian interventions, among others.
He said: “Because, what we receive from NGOs sometimes does not permeate, does not go down to the people there…
”So I got documents from intellectuals so that we could set up a ministry that will coordinate the activities of NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) and others, so that the resources can be properly accounted for.
”This is the reason the ministry was set up so that the minister will account to the Federal Executive Council and make sure that the resources are properly utilised.”
The president lauded local and international partners for their assistance over time, assuring them of continued government commitment.
“I commend the support of our friends and partners who have over the years provided humanitarian assistance to our people in need.
”At the same time, I also seek their understanding in situations where our sovereignty and national security require more pragmatic and proper consideration.
“This government will continue to evolve ways of ensuring that all humanitarian actors receive the necessary support to carry out their activities safely, in line with established principles and taking cognizance of our national security imperatives,” Buhari assured.
The Nigerian leader added that it was in realisation of the need for a smooth working relationship that government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, approved a “Civil – Security Coordination workshop to provide a platform for all the stakeholders”.
According to him, the platform will enable the stakeholders to deliberate and agree on frameworks and guidelines for civil security coordination in humanitarian action.
The president also praised the Armed Forces for their efforts so far, calling on them to intensify actions to bring an end to the insurgency in the country.
“I wish to commend our Armed Forces for their commitment towards eliminating the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists and securing the affected communities for the resettlement and rehabilitation of affected populations.
”I urge our Armed Forces to put more efforts to bring the insurgency to a speedy conclusion.”
Earlier, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar, who is also the chairman of the committee, revealed that: “there is a global humanitarian crisis.
“Available statistics indicate there are 70.8 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) all over the world.
”In the Northeast, it is estimated that 2.2 million people have been displaced, which presents a serious humanitarian challenge.
“This crisis coupled with coordination gaps in the humanitarian sector in Nigeria and clashes between security and humanitarian actors have brought about the existence of NHCC as one of the mechanisms of Civil-Security Coordination.”
The National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, will co-chair the committee. (NAN)