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Presidency To Hold National Conference On North-East, FG Spending N233 Billion To Rebuild Region

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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.”

Content Credit: THISDAY Newspaper

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