Former minister of Defence and elder statesman, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) has hinted that Nigeria needs over two trillion naira to reconstruct North-East region, which has been devastated by the Boko Haram terrorists in the last six years.
Danjuma even said the amount is a conservative estimate for a short-term intervention of the construction of the region, stressing that the rebuilding of the region would demand maximum cooperation and resources, especially in the most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The former chief of army staff, COAS, made the revelation in Abuja yesterday, while speaking as a special guest of honour at the annual national security seminar organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, AANDC, noting that it will involve the massive reconstruction of physical infrastructure, some of which have been totally destroyed in these areas.
The retired General, who is heading the Presidential Committee on rehabilitation of the infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the North-East sub-region, noted that the rebuilding of the region is one of the biggest and most complex challenges that Nigeria is facing today.
He stressed that, “To hold government or any one agency alone responsible for this task is to underestimate the enormity of the problem. While the government must lead the process, I call all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria (foreign donors and UN agencies) to join in the effort.
The ex-minister acknowledged that the rebuilding of the North-East requires considerable planning and coordination. “It is largely in response to this that the president has set up the presidential committee on North-East initiatives, PCNI. The PCNI has the responsibility to provide oversight and harmonise the functions of the various entities engaged in the North East. These include the victims support fund, VSF, presidential initiative on the North East, PINE, the safe school initiative, SSI, as well as the programmes of the six north eastern states,” he explained.
He said PCNI has the mandate to develop a comprehensive plan and coordinate the implementation of the different strategies, including those of international agencies, for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the northeast.
Danjuma said the theme of this year’s seminar, “Internally displaced persons and post conflict peace building in Nigeria”, is timely and would raise awareness about the plight of IDPs and victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.“It will also reflect on ways of more effectively managing a major national crisis”, he added while commending the organisers.
Earlier, in an opening address, president of AANDEC, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Temlong (rtd) lamented how Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 people including the police, soldiers and civilians, and displaced an estimated 2.5million people mostly women, children and the elderly across Abuja, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, Borno and Bauchi.
General Temlong said the figure is in addition to other displacements resulting from natural disaster, farmer-herder clashes and electoral violence. “In terms of displacement caused by the activities of Boko Haram, Borno has the highest number of IDPs totaling 1,650,799 as at October 2015. It is also on record that over one million people are taking refuge in neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Chad and Niger under dehumanising conditions.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali noted with dismay that act of terrorism and insurgency has assumed worrisome dimension because of the different tactics being used by terrorists.
Dan-Ali, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Amb. Danjuma Sheni, stated further that the terrorists are now taking advantage of globalization using modern technology in recruiting and coordinating their activities, hence the fast spread of terrorism across the globe.
He said the unprecedented level of corruption has weakened the strength of security agencies.

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