Some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and stakeholders in states affected by the activities of insurgents, have called for the establishment of North East Development Commission (NEDC), to address the damages suffered by the North-East sub-region, as a result of insurgency.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the level of devastation was enormous that a permanent arrangement needed to be put in place for any meaningful reconstruction and rehabilitation to be achieved when peace finally returned to the area.
Hon.Iliyasu Zwall, Chairman, House Committee on Security, Bauchi Assembly, said the proposal for the establishment of a commission that would be funded to oversee the rehabilitation of the region, was laudable.
“The North East had been devastated, not only in terms of physical resources, but human development.
“The insurgency has caused the region, enormous socio-political and economic retardation, and no one is sure yet as to when the problem will come to an end because innocent people are still being killed.
“You can imagine the level of human tragedy, as indicated by the number of Internally Displaced Persons across the nooks and crannies of the region.
“Certainly, a Development Commission is most desirable for things to be put right, and normalcy to return,” said Zwall, who is also a former Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Bauchi State.
Also speaking on the issue, President of Adamawa Youth Initiative, a non-governmental organization, Alhaji Hamisu Madugu, said they would be in the forefront of the call for the establishment of the commission.
According to him, the level of devastation in the North East geo-political zone, is such that only a gigantic move can bring relief to the people.
“Lives, dreams, aspirations and hopes, have been broken and lost.
“The region is now populated by orphans, widows, the old and most vulnerable.
“We want to call on the President-elect and incoming members of the National Assembly to, as a matter of priority, consider the establishment of North East Development Commission,” he pleaded.
According to the president, the region is in dire need of “reconstruction, rehabilitation and reintegration” similar to what was done in response to the Niger Delta crisis.
He said that as a matter of priority, Federal and State governments should start the reconstruction of all damaged bridges, schools and hospitals.
Malam Kachi Adamu-Damboa, Chairman Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) in Bogo area of Akko Local Government of Gombe state, said rehabilitating the sub-region would give the people of the area, a sense of belonging in the country.
He said that most of the IDPs would not be interested in returning home even if normalcy returned because their houses and other personal effects, had been destroyed, hence the need for a commission to address the problem.
Another IDP in Gombe, Alhaji Adamu Mala, called on the Federal Government to rebuild the North-East, especially the areas affected by Boko-Haram insurgency.
According to him, a lot of damage has been done to lives and property that calls for the intervention of government “in a big way, through the establishment of a commission.”
However, Alhaji Yakubu Abubakar, Secretary of Nigeia Red Cross Society, Gombe state, did not support the proposal on the grounds that it could create problem for the new administration.
He said that although he was in support of rebuilding the devastated areas, it must not necessarily be done through a commission.
According to him, if a commission is established in the region like that of the NDDC, it can trigger similar request from other regions of the country, thereby distracting the attention of the government.
Yakubu also expressed concern over the failure of financial institutions in the state, to assist IDPs. (NAN)