President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and its agencies to address the urgent threats posed by explosive remnants in the North East region.
Mr. Femi Adesina, spokesman for the president, said Buhari issued the directive on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day 2022, in Maiduguri, Borno on Thursday.
He affirmed the government’s commitment to reducing the effects of disasters, climate change, insurgency and the challenges of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
He also requested the ministry and its agencies to pay particular attention to emerging issues in the context of the return and rehabilitation of Nigerians displaced during the 13 years of conflict and insurgency in the region.
He said: “Emerging issues include the growing number of orphans and widows.
“From our experience in the unfortunate civil war, I know the threat that unexploded ordnance can pose to returnees even after the conflict ends, as we saw in the latest IED incident in Bama last week. last.
“I urge the ministry and its agencies as well as state governments and the special committee I have established under the chairmanship of the vice president to come up with specific programs and projects.
“These projects would address these emerging challenges of explosive ordnance as well as that of children orphaned by the insurgency.”
Regarding the fight against the insurgency, Buhari reiterated his directive to the security agencies to take the fight to the hiding places of the criminal elements and ensure “that they are completely eliminated”.
He said, “The men and officers of Operation Lafiya Dole, security agencies and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), are highly valued for their commitment to the fight against the insurgency.
“I salute their professionalism and their tactical penetration into the hideout of criminal elements, leading to a significant improvement in the security situation in this North-East Region, without which the resettlement of IDPs would not be possible.
“I therefore implore you not to slacken your efforts, to continue to lead the fight to their hiding places and to ensure their complete elimination.
“I also implore you to provide adequate security to farmers in their agricultural activities. Agricultural activities are most necessary for the settlement and development of rural areas and this can only be achieved if farmers are sure of their security.
On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, commemorated on August 19 every year, Buhari congratulated all aid workers who provide the much-needed aid to those affected by the conflict.
He commended aid workers around the world for having distinguished themselves through their courage, commitment and willingness to help others in need – often at the risk of their lives.
“It typifies the nature of humanitarian work and sacrifice, and is a great testament to this year’s World Humanitarian Day theme which is ‘It Takes a Village,'” he said.
The President led other guests to the event in Maiduguri to observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who lost their lives in disasters and aid workers who died in the line of duty.
”On this World Humanitarian Day 2022 and all other days, we stand and will continue to stand in solidarity with aid workers and recognize their immense service and sacrifice.
“We celebrate their tireless efforts to save lives, preserve human dignity and alleviate suffering. Their commitment and selfless actions are an example for all of us.
“We will also ensure that they have our support by ensuring that the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Social Development facilitates their work,” he promised. he declares.
Buhari also took the opportunity to thank retired General Theophilus Danjuma for his support to the Borno government in rehabilitating many IDPs in the North East.
He described Danjuma’s humanitarian aid as important and patriotic, urging other Nigerians and organizations with the means to support the humanitarian work.
The president also thanked the UNDP, the European Union, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as other foreign establishments for their support in addition to the administration’s efforts to stabilize the Northeast region.
He urged all relevant public, private and international agencies to support the government’s drive to rehabilitate the displaced, care for the victims of the insurgency as well as engage in “ongoing processes regarding members of Boko Haram/ISWAP ready to surrender”.
In his welcoming remarks, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno said that “the state enjoys relative peace and stability, thanks to the sacrifices of valiant soldiers, security agencies, local militiamen and the MNJTF “.
He commended the President for his leadership and the successes recorded so far in the war against terrorism in the region.
The Governor also hailed the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and the ongoing installation of a 50 MW power plant to supply electricity in the state.
He also thanked the President for the recent approval of N15 billion for the repatriation of North Eastern citizens living in Chad, Niger and Cameroon following the displacement caused by the insurgency.
Citing figures from the Aid Worker Safety Database, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Farouq revealed that since 2016, 35 aid workers have been killed, 22 injured and 28 abducted.
She added that since the beginning of this year, six aid workers have been kidnapped in the country.
Regarding the choice of Borno for this year’s event, the Minister explained that it aims to highlight the humanitarian situation and the plight of displaced people in the region and to inspire much-needed change.
While in Borno, Buhari inaugurated the Bulunkutu teachers’ quarters on the airport road and the Molai 500 low-cost housing estate for displaced persons built by the state government with support from the federal government. .