- Category: National Security
- Published on Sunday, 17 July 2011 11:07
- Written by Admin
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The governor, who traced the history of Islam, fundamentalism and economic challenges of the state, disclosed these in a statewide broadcast to the people of the state on Saturday.
He said the World Bank had described the region of the world to which the state and North-East Nigeria fall as the poorest and most challenged parts of the world, a development that makes the area fertile activities of such dreaded sects.
“The World Bank has described the central region of the Savannah-Sudan, comprising of the areas covered by the North-East Political Zone of Nigeria, the Republic of Chad, Eastern portion of Niger Republic, Northern Cameroons and the Dafur Region of the Republic of Sudan, as being one of the poorest regions on earth.
“The region has very little and mainly dilapidated infrastructure, a population with poor or ill-education and highest level of unemployment, especially among the youths, little or poor authority for mobilisation of people for self-help, a large number of hungry and angry population, inept and bankrupt leadership, little or complete absence of government control, network and other factors for economic progress and social harmony of the area.
“The foregoing scenario provides a fertile ground for the emergence of radical organizations, such as the Janjaweed Militia of the Dafur region and Jama’atul Ahlul Sunnah Lidda’wati wal Jihad, often called Boko Haram by the Nigerian media, in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria,” he said.
While appealing to members of the sect to stop the ‘war’ against their fellow citizens, Governor Shettima, gave assurance of the readiness of his administration to dialogue with all aggrieved sections of the society, adding that he was personally pained by the turn of events in the state, as a bonafide indigene of Maiduguri.
“This administration has already clearly stated its readiness to open channels of communication with all aggrieved sections of the society with a view to bringing this despicable trend to an end. Our doors are open for constructive dialogue and a speedy resolution to this state of insecurity.
“I am personally deeply pained by the trend of events. I am a native of Maiduguri, born and bred right in the heart of Yerwa, from Nimeri Korongoso. Most of the insurgents are from the well known neighbourhood of Shehuri North, Shehuri South, Limanti, Lamisu Gamboru, Fezzan and Hausari wards of the metropolis.
While appealing again to members of Boko Haram to lay down arms, the governor highlighted some of the measures his government was putting in place as immediate and long-term measure to contain poverty and improve the lot of the people of the state.
“One, compensation of all victims of recent crisis will be done with immediate effect. A Committee will be set up and a data base of all victims will be collated and compensated appropriately.
“Two, there will be procurement and distribution of 5000 Keke-NAPEP tricycles and 100 buses to ease in-intra city transport within the metropolis
“Also, there will be purchase of food stuff worth N2 billion for distribution to the people. Four, an economic stimulus package for the business community in the state through the establishment or support for micro-finance bank in every senatorial zone towards the provision of soft loans to traders/marketers and cooperatives to boast and position entrepreneurship will be provided,” he explained.
Among the long-term measures Governor Shettima promised are creation of 500,000 jobs in the next four to six years, with agriculture as the centerpiece of the programme; provision of vocational and skill acquisition centres; and complete revamping and repositioning of the states educational system.
He said the state had just accessed a “N1.7 billion unaccessed funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and is putting in place mechanisms for accessing the N3.2 billion unaccessed funds from the Education Trust Fund (ETF).”
He added that he state would also seek to develop strategic plan in the educational sector by committing to the goals of the Northern States Education Action Plan, seeking assistance of DFID, SABMF and Arewa House etc. in this activity.
The governor, however, added that it was not feasible, for now, to move for the evacuation of members of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) from the troubled area as there was yet to be an alternative security arrangement.
“With no intent to denigrate nor question the motives of eminent personalities agitating for withdrawal of the JTF from the state, I regret to note that none has offered a tangible, yet sustainable, alternative to fill the security vacuum to be created in the event of the withdrawal of the JTF,” he noted. (Tribune)