By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), assuring that the nation and the region in particular had seen the worst of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The initiative is part of efforts by the Federal Government to tackle the humanitarian crises that has been ravaging the North East of the country as a fallout of the insurgency in the region
Chaired by former Minister of Defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), the PCNI is to coordinate the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as the rehabilitation of the battered region.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari assured that the worst of the Boko Haram insurgents was over. He also commended the military for their efforts in degrading the terrorists.
President Buhari who disclosed that funding for the operations would be drawn from the Federal, State and Local Government appropriations with support from international donors, further charged the committee to discharge it’s duties with dedication, transparency and accountability.
He said: “Many humanitarian intervention efforts, national and international, have worked over time to assist in coping with the task of bringing succour to the IDPs in and outside the region, with most of these efforts aimed at providing short-term emergency assistance and relief to the victims of the violence and displacement. However, there remains a need for better coordination of these efforts particularly the humanitarian resettlement and reconstruction of the region.
“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.
“However and sadly so, many have nothing to return to. They have losteverything to the insurgency. In addition, social and public services are also absent due to the massive destruction of public and private infrastructure. Government is committed to providing effective coordination and guidance towards addressing the humanitarian crisis, the resettlement and reconstruction of the North East region.
“To this end, I have established the Presidential committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), under the Chairmanship of General T.Y.Danjuma (Rtd), GCON, a man of proven integrity, outstanding patriotism and dedication.
“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.”
Responding on behalf of members of the committee, Danjuma said the committee had already developed an implementation framework tagged ‘The Buhari Plan’ in line with the terms of reference of the PCNI.
He said the interventions contained in the Buhari Plan had 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.
Danjuma who acknowledged the contributions from various sources particularly during the fund raising for the Victims Support Fund for the North East, however disclosed that only N23 billion has so far been redeemed from the over N50 billion pledges made during the occasion.
“From this fund raising only half of the pledges that were made have been redeemed,” he said, just as he called on Nigerians to key into the strategic coordination framework for th PCNI: the Buhari Plan and make contributions to its implementation as, according to him, “everybody is a stakeholder,” he disclosed.